News Brief

Research Connects Cleaning Jobs with Asthma

Occupational chemicals may carry more asthma risk than smoking, a new study finds.

Although many conventional cleaning products contain VOCs and other airborne hazards known to cause respiratory problems and other illnesses, this is the first time medical research has directly linked cleaning jobs with asthma risk. Occupations already known to increase risk—such as farming, hairdressing, and printing—also made an appearance, and both metalworking and textile production were identified as high-risk occupational exposures.

“Occupational asthma is widely under-recognized by employers, employees, and healthcare professionals,” said lead researcher Rebecca Ghosh. “Raising awareness that this is an almost entirely preventable disease would be a major step in reducing its incidence.”

Published March 26, 2013

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