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Hospital cleaning sprays 'increase asthma among nurses'

The use of cleaning sprays such as bleach in hospitals may be causing a rise in the number of nurses who suffer from asthma, according to a health expert.

Dr Jan-Paul Zock told delegates at a European allergy conference in London that evidence suggested there was a link between using cleaning sprays and asthma.

Dr Zock, of the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona, said breathing in bleach, acids, ammonia, solvents and stain removers more than once a week was linked to a 20% rise in asthma or wheezing.

He added that the rise was also linked to how strong the product was and how well the room was ventilated.

And he said nurses, housekeepers, caretakers, and professional cleaners were most at risk of developing asthma, particularly if they use the products for long periods of time or on a regular basis.

Dr Zock said while some people were more susceptible to the effects than others, “the number of people at risk is very large”.

Read more in Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology

Readers' comments (5)

  • great now we have this to contend with everything else that is happening !!!!!!!!!!!

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  • nursteph

    If hospital cleaning sprays increase asthma on nurses what will be the right cleaning sprays that will not endanger the health of medical workers eh? Cleaning sprays are necessary and so nurses.


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  • I think the manufacturers of these products need to research the side effects of the chemicals they are asking us to use. The whole of the developing world uses bleach as a universal cleaner and soak for instruments. Thats a lot of people who could be affected by fumes .

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  • When they started using a new cleaning fluid at my local hospital I developed a burning like sensation at the back of my nose and throat which in time bagan to make me physically sick. When I reported this to my manager they didn't want to know at first, but after taking it up with the union they had to put measures in place so that I didn't come into contact with it when it was used. I still suffer with acute rhinitis and have to take antihistimines regulary, but it has left me sounding as if I have a permanent cold.

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  • I have the same problem as the writer of 08/06/10 , and when at work have persistent rhinitis. It has got far worse recently , since using a different chemical cleaner.

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