Women with asthma should not only stay away form dusting but also from other cleaning activities, for a new research has said that such activities may worsen their condition.
Led by Jonathan A. Bernstein, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Immunology/Allergy Section, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, the study said that cleaning activities may be linked to increased lower respiratory tract symptoms in women with asthma.
In fact, the researchers noted Increased symptoms in response to cleaning agents rated mild in toxicity.
Bernstein said: "Women with asthma should be routinely interviewed as to whether they clean their home and cautioned about the potential respiratory health effects of these activities."
Women are usually the primary persons responsible for cleaning their homes.
The 12-week, parallel-group study compared health effects of cleaning among asthmatic and non-asthmatic women who are the primary cleaners in their homes.
And it was found that there was a statistically significant change in the number of lower respiratory tract symptoms for asthmatic patients compared with non-asthmatic patients, although no effect was observed on peak expiratory flow rates after cleaning between the groups.
Authors said that "women in both groups exhibited increased upper and lower respiratory tract symptoms in response to cleaning agents rated mild in toxicity, suggesting a subtle but potentially clinically relevant health effect of long-term low-level chemical exposures."
The authors concluded: "Longer, prospective studies of nonprofessional household cleaners are needed to determine whether there is an association between household cleaning agent exposure and the development of asthma."
The study is published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).