"Cleaning compounds are generally just tested to make sure that they don't kill people or cause cancer," noted Dr. David Rosenstreich, director of the division of allergy and immunology in the department of medicine at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.
"But, these products may not be safe for asthmatics to breathe in. And, if it's not safe for asthmatics, it's probably not safe for anyone else," he said. His advice: "Switch to liquid cleaning products rather than aerosols. If there's any difference in cleaning, it's a small sacrifice to be made in terms of protecting your respiratory health."
Zock did add one caveat, however. "Don't forget that old-fashioned liquid cleaning products can involve risks for respiratory disorders as well. The most notorious example is bleach, particularly when mixed with other cleaners -- something that should never be done."
To learn more about what causes asthma, visit the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
SOURCES: Jan-Paul Zock, Ph.D., research fellow, the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Municipal Institute of Medical Research, Barcelona, Spain; David Rosenstreich, M.D., director of the division of allergy and immunology, department of medicine, Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City; October 2007, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
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