Frequent use of household cleaning products in early life appears to be associated with an increased risk for childhood wheeze and asthma but not atopy at age 3 years

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.

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