US Pharm. 32(11)77-78.

The use of common household cleaning sprays and air fresheners at least once a week may increase the risk of asthma. According to researchers in Barcelona, on average the asthma risk was about 30% to 50% higher in regular users and increased with the frequency of use and number of sprays.

The study, which was published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, underscores an important health issue for those who clean their own homes, said Jan-Paul Zock, PhD, of the Municipal Institute of Medical Research in Barcelona. The association between spray products and asthma was seen primarily with the most commonly used air fresheners, glass cleaners, and furniture-cleaning sprays. Nonspray cleaning products were not associated with asthma, nor did oven sprays pose a major risk.

The researchers said the findings were significant in that there is strong evidence that asthma risk could have been partly induced by irritants.

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