Cleaning products could cause long-term health issues

When we think of cleaning products, we think "fresh and clean." They are supposed to be ridding your home of dust, dirt and germs, not adding to the mess.

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Potentially dangerous chemicals can be found in every room in your home.

When we think of cleaning products, we think “fresh and clean.” They are supposed to be ridding your home of dust, dirt and germs, not adding to the mess.

A new study published in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Clinical Care may change the way you keep your house clean. Norway researchers have been following more than 6,000 people who have been using cleaning chemicals over a span of 10 to 20 years. They found that cleaning products can leave you with COPD, the same kind of lung damage as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.

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The health of both men and women were affected by the chemicals but the women who clean professionally are impacted the most. This is the first study that looked at the impact of these kinds of products over a long period of time. The results showed that cleaning chemicals increased the risk of asthma and respiratory issues.

According to the Environmental Working Group, cleaning product labels often do not give consumers enough information to make the best decisions when it comes to their health. The American Lung Association said to be extra careful when cleaning small and enclosed spaces and recommend to keep doors and windows open. Health experts suggest that you turn to more natural products like hot water and a micro fiber cloth, baking soda or a mixture of vinegar and water if you need something to scrub a surface or clean glass.

The Cleveland Clinic website said that most household cleaning products and pesticides are reasonably safe when used as directed. They said the level of toxicity of a product is dependent on the dose of the product used (never use more than the amount listed on the label) and the length of exposure to the product.

Visit the Environmental Working Group Organization website for more information about cleaning products and their natural alternatives.