Disinfectant use linked to lung disease
(NaturalHealth365) Everyone has a natural instinct to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals. However, many make an exception when it comes to the popular use of disinfectant (cleaning) products. For example, one group of healthcare providers will be thinking twice about their habits – after reading this special report.
A recent release by INSERM of Villejuif, France is connecting regular use of disinfectants by nurses with the lung disease COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The research group looked at data from over 55,000 registered nurses from the Nurses’ Health Study II – which began back in 1989.
The Nurses’ Health Study II is coordinated by Harvard Medical School and the Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Using a disinfectant once per week increases the risk of lung disease by at least 22 percent
Nurses with no history of COPD in 2009 and still currently employed in a nursing job were examined up until May 2017 for a total study period of 8 years. A questionnaire was used to evaluate the nurses’ exposure to disinfectants. Results were adjusted for factors like age, smoking, BMI (body mass index) and also ethnicity.
During the study period, 663 of the nurses were diagnosed with COPD. Nurses who used disinfectants at least once per week had a 22 percent higher risk of COPD.
The effects of specific disinfectants were also examined, including common cleaners like bleach, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and quaternary ammonium compounds (or “quats” used in disinfecting furniture and floors. However, more exotic cleaners specific to the medical industry were also examined, including glutaraldehyde, a disinfectant used to clean medical instruments.
Toxic chemicals in disinfectants linked with asthma and more serious lung disease conditions
All of these cleaners were associated with higher incidents of COPD between 24 and 32 percent. The researchers also found that 37 percent of nurses cleaned surfaces using disinfectants weekly, and 19 percent used the type formulated for medical instruments.
The research results were recently released to the European Respiratory Society International Congress and was the first assessment of its kind linking nurses’ exposure to cleaning products with COPD.
Previous studies have connected disinfectant exposure with breathing issues such as asthma in healthcare workers. The researchers hope to do more studies to determine which chemicals in the cleaners are the main culprits in causing these lung-specific health issues.
Solution: Favor natural cleaning substances instead of toxic chemicals
Researchers also hope to examine the potential connection between lifetime occupational exposure to cleaning chemicals and COPD as well as other respiratory issues. The insights gleaned could be valuable to anyone who uses cleaning supplies regularly, including in the home.
At home or at work, it’s always advisable to minimize exposure to toxic chemicals of all kinds. Consider making your own natural cleaners instead of using a chemical disinfectant. Vinegar or essential oils can help to prevent the growth of germs and mold. In fact, you may be surprised how a simple vinegar and baking soda solution does the job.
Editor’s note: Click here to learn how to replace toxins in your home with essential oils.
Sources for this article include:
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