In February 2020 researchers from Canada published the results of their study to assess the association between use of household cleaning products in early life and childhood respiratory and allergic disease. A total of 2,022 children were involved in the study. Information on how frequently 26 household cleaning products were used in the homes was collected when the child was aged 3-4 months. Each child then underwent a clinical assessment for recurrent wheeze, atopy or asthma diagnosis at the age of 3 years. Results showed that children living in homes that used cleaning products at a higher frequency during infancy had a higher risk of recurrent wheeze, recurrent wheeze with atopy and asthma diagnosis, but no increase in the risk of atopy at age 3 years. A further analysis revealed that females had a higher risk than males for all outcomes although the difference did not reach statistical significance. The researchers concluded that early life exposure to a frequent use of cleaning products may be associated with the development of allergic airway disease and that identifying such household behaviours may be a potential area for intervention.
Parks J et al. Association of use of cleaning products with respiratory health in a Canadian birth cohort. CMAJ. 2020 Feb 18;192(7):E154-E161.