Wednesday, 19 Feb, 7.49 pm The Sentinel

Babies exposed to household cleaning products prone to asthma

Toronto : Early exposure of babies to household cleaning products is associated with the development of childhood asthma and wheeze by age 3 years, a new study suggests.

'Our study looked at infants, who typically spend 80 per cent-90 percent of their time indoors and are especially vulnerable to chemical exposures through the lungs and skin due to their higher respiration rates and regular contact with household surfaces,' said study lead researcher Tim Takaro from Simon Fraser University in Canada.

For the findings, researchers looked at data from questionnaires completed by parents of 2022 children in the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Cohort Study who were exposed to cleaning products from birth to age 3-4 months. Participants in the CHILD Cohort Study were recruited from most urban centers in 4 provinces: Vancouver, BC; Edmonton, Alberta; Winnipeg, Morden and Winkler, Manitoba; and Toronto, Ontario.

The children were then assessed at age 3 years to determine whether they had asthma, recurrent wheeze or atopy (allergic sensitization).

The most common cleaning products used were hand dishwashing soap, dishwasher detergent, multisurface cleaners, glass cleaners, and laundry soap.

The researchers found an association between early exposure to cleaning products and the risk of asthma and wheeze.

According to the study, scented and sprayed cleaning products were associated with the highest risk of respiratory issues. The researchers hypothesize that chemicals in cleaning products may damage the respiratory lining by triggering inflammatory pathways of the immune system, leading to asthma and wheeze. The modulation of the infant's microbiome may also play a role, the study said. (IANS)

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