How Your Cleaning Supplies Can Affect Asthma

Asthma can be an extremely debilitating disorder that can have detrimental affects on lifestyle and health. Part of the problem is the types of cleaning supplies that people use in their homes as the wrong products can in fact worsen asthma and in effect tighten airways making it harder to breathe. But what cleaning supplies should you be using if you wish to make life easier for an asthma sufferer that may be in your home?

Recent medical research has shown that depending upon on the types of cleaning supplies used there are certain ways to control and manage the triggers that can set off an asthma attack. In addition it is possible with the utilisation of certain cleaning products that allergens in general can be reduced in the home. Not only is this important for asthma sufferers but anyone residing in the property that has allergies to dust or other airborne particles.

An Australian report that was released recently has suggested that the use of certain chemicals in a variety of cleaning supplies on the market today could work towards worsening triggers and actively increase the chances of children obtaining asthma. This is especially important for parents who have concerns over the types of chemicals that could lead to their children contracting life debilitating disorders, not only in the early stages but throughout their lifetime.

Of these chemicals studied there were a number, present in the minority of different cleaning supplies that were especially dangerous in triggering asthma attacks. These compounds are considered by scientists to be volatile organic compounds and for those in the know are labelled as benzene, ethyl benzene and toluene. The use of these compounds is not completely widespread but their presence in some products is worrying.

One of the scientists involved in the study was keen to argue that cleaning supplies and products were part of the solution for combating asthma in the home. It is in fact the cleaner’s best weapon in eliminating the triggers that cause so much strife for sufferers. These triggers are numerous but in general are regarded to be dust particles, dust mites, animal hairs and dander as well as insect excrement, mildew and mold.

It is not the purely supplies however that are the issue. An important part of the problem it is also the way in which houses and residencies are cleaned. The report in no way wants to discourage homeowners from cleaning their properties, in fact it actively encourages parents with children affected by asthma to follow a routine of cleaning that is thorough so that these allergens and triggers can be minimalised.

What this report has done is reinforce age old wisdom, that cleaning will in fact reduce the instances of asthma and other allergies. While the scientific side of the study focussed upon the chemicals that ideally should not be in cleaning supplies; the practical results found that if a house is cleaned effectively on a regular basis the suffering of a child with asthma can be reduced. All parents should take notice of this as it is not just asthma sufferers that need a clean home; any young child is susceptible to obtaining asthma and hence keeping the risks to a minimum is a vital parental concern. So before reaching for the mop and bucket, bear in mind the methods that could help reduce asthma in any property.

Health expert Thomas Pretty looks into how certain cleaning supplies and methods can help reduce the instances of asthma attacks in the home.