It’s a nice feeling to have freshly scrubbed floors, sparkling windows, spotless bathrooms, and dust-free shelves.
But a major study has found that a clean house can mean terrible lung health.
The chemicals in commercial cleaning sprays can be so damaging to your lungs that using them regularly can be the equivalent of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years, according to the research.
Scientists at Norway’s University of Bergen tracked 6,000 people who regularly used cleaning products for over two decades. They measured the subjects’ lung function by testing how much air they were able to exhale.
They asked participants how often they used cleaning products and compared their answers with their lung power. Women who used the cleaning products had a dramatically decreased lung function. They also had higher rates of asthma.
Their lungs were so bad that they functioned like those of pack-a-day smokers, researchers said.
This is obviously bad news for anyone who regularly uses chemical cleaning products.
Cleaning Your House Is the New Smoking
Scientists attribute the decline in lung function to damage that cleaning agents cause to mucous membranes lining the airways.
Women seemed more affected than men. Researchers don’t know why, but they speculated it may be that women use cleaning products more often.
Researcher Øistein Svanes led the study. “When you think of inhaling small particles from cleaning agents that are meant for cleaning the floor and not your lungs, maybe lung damage is not so surprising after all,” he said.
The study was published in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
The results confirm a similar study by French scientists in September 2017. They found nurses who used disinfectants to clean surfaces at least once a week had a 24% to 32% increased risk of developing lung disease.
The studies did not evaluate which cleaning ingredients are the most harmful.
However, the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit consumer organization, ranks the safety of hundreds of cleaning products.
Go HERE to access the EWG Guide to Healthy Cleaning. It grades the safety of household cleaners on an A to F scale. Stick to ones with an A rating.
7 Natural Alternatives to Chemical Cleaners
Another option is to make your own nontoxic cleaners. These natural alternatives can be just as effective as dangerous, chemical-laden products:
- Vinegar: It eradicates scum, grease, and grime. Spray on shower tiles; let sit for 30 minutes; rinse. Wash tile or linoleum with a 50-50 vinegar-water mixture. It works great on windows, too.
- Salt: It’s a natural abrasive. Use kosher salt and the juice from half a lemon on cutting boards to clean deeply.
- Baking soda: It’s a proven virus-killer. And it deodorizes and cuts through grime. Mix ½-cup baking soda with ¼-cup vinegar to clean toilets and other bathroom surfaces.
- Grapefruit extract: It has antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic, and antifungal properties. Combine 20 drops with two cups of water in a spray bottle to clean all surfaces.
- Toothpaste: It polishes silver without chemicals. Rub with paste, rinse, and let dry.
A clean house doesn’t have to hurt your lungs. Kick the chemical cleaner habit… You’ll breathe easier.
Editor’s Note: Discover natural, non-drug methods to transform your health. Read our monthly journal, Independent Healing. It’s your best source for unbiased, evidence-based medical information. Get all the details HERE.