- Study finds women in jobs that use high amounts of cleaners were most at risk
- This was true even if they had quit their jobs before trying to conceive a child.
- Research from Norway surveyed more than 3,000 mothers and their babies
A study has claimed that children whose mothers are exposed to high levels of cleaning products and disinfectants are significantly more likely to develop asthma.
Researchers who looked at more than 3,000 mothers and their children found that young people had an up to 71 percent increased risk of the condition if their parents worked in jobs when they regularly handled cleaning agents. Is.
This was also true for women who quit these jobs before conceiving their child, suggesting that the cleaning agents directly affected their eggs.
The team of researchers, led by the University of Bergen in Norway, said women who work as cleaners, nurses and cooks may be at increased risk.
Previous research has warned against exposing children to cleaning products such as dishwashing soap, dishwasher detergent, multi-surface cleaner, glass cleaner and laundry soap because of its link to asthma.
These products often contain chemical compounds that irritate the airways and make breathing difficult.
More than 8 million people are estimated to have asthma in the UK, which is about 12 per cent of the population.
There are an estimated 25 million asthma sufferers in the US, which is about eight percent of the population.
A team of scientists has claimed that women who are exposed to high amounts of cleaning products and disinfectants may be 71 percent more likely to have a child with asthma.
Professor Cecilie Svens of the University of Bergen in Norway and one of the authors of the latest study said their work sheds new light on the relationship between parental exposure to chemicals and child health.
‘Many future mothers are exposed to potent chemicals at work, but the potential offspring health effects are rarely investigated,’ he said.
‘However, emerging research suggests that parental chemical exposure prior to conception may affect the health of future offspring.’
Although the team theorizes that exposure to cleaning agents may affect a woman’s eggs, increasing childhood asthma, Professor Savens said this was speculation, and more research was needed.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a common but incurable condition that affects the small tubes inside the lungs.
This can cause them to swell or swell, which restricts the airway and makes it difficult to breathe.
The condition affects people of all ages and often begins in childhood. Symptoms may improve or even go away as children get older, but may return in adulthood.
Symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and coughing, and these may get worse during an asthma attack.
Treatment usually involves medication that is inhaled to calm the lungs.
Triggers of this condition include allergies, dust, air pollution, exercise, and infections such as a cold or flu.
You should see a doctor if you think you or your child has asthma, as it can develop into more serious complications such as fatigue or a lung infection.
“Further research is necessary considering the potential effects of the larger number of women of childbearing age using cleaning agents and their babies,” he said.
The study findings were presented at the 2020 European Respiratory Journal International Congress and are not published online.
This is not the first time that a study has linked perceived ‘clean living’ to poor health outcomes for children.
A study published earlier this month suggests that modern life may make breast milk less beneficial for babies and make them prone to allergies.
Experts analyzed the milk of dozens of Mennonite women, who follow the same modern technology and traditional lifestyles free from pesticides as the Amish.
Samples were also taken from women living in the nearby city of Rochester.
Comparison of collections showed that Mennonite females produced milk that was more abundant in antibodies and bacteria.
Researchers at the University of Rochester believe that their traditional lifestyle – which sees women exposed to farm animals and uncooked food – helps to ‘program’ their children’s developing gut microbiota and immune systems. can do
They say the ‘agri-life effect’ may also explain why allergies are less common in Mennonites.
Dr Antti Seppo, a pediatrician involved in the research, claimed the findings were important because they could point to why rates of atopic disease are ‘exploding’ in Western countries.
He added: ‘Maybe one day these insights may help prevent or reduce these diseases.’
Some scientists have suggested that this may be explained by a ‘hygiene hypothesis’ that weakens our immune system by living sterile, modern lives.
Without being exposed to dirt and germs early in life, it is claimed that the immune system does not learn to control its response to everyday particles such as dust and pollen. It can cause the body to overreact when it comes into contact with harmless substances.
But the science behind the theory is still disputed, with other academics saying it distracts from finding the exact cause of the increased prevalence of allergies.
Previous studies have also suggested that certain occupations have a higher risk of developing diseases related to exposure to cleaning products and disinfectants.
A 2019 US study of more than 70,000 female nurses found that they had a 25–35 percent increased risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a name for a variety of lung conditions, due to occupational exposure to these products.
The NHS says there is not enough evidence to suggest that modern hygiene standards can be linked to asthma.
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