Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

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 !!!!!!!!!!!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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.


    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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 .

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.