UPDATED 20 February 2018
Although lots of people might jump at any excuse to get out of the cleaning, the health benefits of a clean home are immeasurable - and that's before you take into account the exercise factor. Indeed, if you don't tackle mould in the home, it can have very serious health consequences. This is the advice from the NHS on mould and damp.
Research from the University of Bergen, Norway has found that some cleaning products may have an affect on lung health. Similar studies are being carried out in the UK. Details of the survey results have previously been released by The Daily Mail . Another article appeared on the 16th February 2018 on the BBC site.
The long term Norwegian study found that occupational cleaners had 17% reduced lung function, but it also found a 14% reduction for women using cleaning products in the home.
Of course, this doesn't mean that all cleaning products are bad for your health. Ingredients linked to asthma include Benzalkonium chloride, Chlorine-based agents (bleach), some fragrances and Isothiazolinones.
A similar long term study by Harvard and Inserm claims that regular use of bleach could lead to a greater risk of COPD. Many UK papers covered the story, including The Guardian.
There is also some concern that the increasing use of anti-bacterial cleaners could be doing more harm than good.
October is breast cancer awareness month and many organisations such as the WEDF are advising people against the use of cleaning and laundry products that use EDCs (Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals). Download their booklet on the subject. Breast Cancer UK has also released an advice leaflet on the use of chemicals in and around the home for pregnant women. Our traditional cleaning products do not use any hormone disrupting chemicals.
How can you minimise your risk?
Sprays are far more likely to cause problems than dry products, wipes or pouring liquids. if you must use a spray, then spray the product directly on to a cloth rather than at the surface.
Of course, traditional products in our 'Clean & Natural' range contain none of these potential problem ingredients and are a strong favourite amongst those with respiratory and allergic conditions. Much more research is needed, but that requires time and funds. With new ingredients and products being made available on an almost weekly basis, it's an ongoing task that rarely delivers conclusive results. There have been some suggestions that some cleaning products may cause an increased of risk of cancer, but even with seemingly strong evidence, the results can be called into question. See more.
However, many organisations and health professionals advise the use of traditional cleaning products such as soda crystals, bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar which have been used safely for centuries.
Here is an informative article on cleaning in the home.