Cleaning Your House Can Make You Sick - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/27/03

Cleaning Your House Can Make You Sick

A link between cleaning products and asthma is an on-going medical debate. But if you can say that women use cleaning products more than men, that ashtma theory might explain why women get asthma more often than men, with more severe, sudden attacks, more hospitalizations, and more deaths.

"The rates have gone up 105% for females over the past 15 or so years, compared to about a 41% increase for males," says Dr. Stephen Redd, Centers for Disease Control.

"It had ammonia in it. I didn't realize it. I thought it didn't honestly, and I was mopping my floors and I was just almost out for the count," says Dana Conti, an asthma sufferer.

Not all cleaning products should be feared as asthma triggers, but ammonia is one you might want to avoid -- that or anything you can feel irritating the airwaves. He suggests alternatives that are aerosol and fragrance free. If possible, open the windows when you clean. Wear a mask to filter out dust, and talk to your doctor about other ways you might avoid possible asthama triggers in your house.

According to the American Lung Association, these are common asthma and allergy triggers you may have around your house:

  • Perfume
  • Room deodorizers
  • Cleaning chemicals
  • Paint
  • Talcum powder

These are examples of triggers that must be avoided or kept to very low levels. Studies have shown that aspirin acts as a trigger for approximately 3% of people with asthma according to the National Asthma Campaign.

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