According to a nine-year study, housework might be bad for your health. Tidying up around the house at least once a week with common cleaning sprays and air fresheners could raise the risk of asthma in adults. Asthma is an inflammation of the airways and more than 300 million people worldwide suffer from this condition. Two-thirds of those in the study who reported doing the bulk of cleaning were women.

The study found the risk of developing asthma increased with the frequency of household cleaning and the number of different sprays used but on average was about 30 to 50 per cent higher in people exsposed to cleaning sprays at least once a week.

Are you worried?



  1. 1

    The cleaning spray we use is diluted apple-cinnamon vinegar. Baking soda for scrubbing. Both work just find, and from what I understand, are much healthier chemicals for cleaning.

  2. 2

    Thanks for the great tip. « diluted apple-cinnamon vinegar » it is.

  3. 3
    Joanne Nicholls Says:

    Hmmmmmm. Justification for the state of my house! I like it.

  4. 4
    Chimera Says:

    Dried-after-being-used coffee grounds sprinkled on carpeting keeps the dust from rising too much when vacuuming. They also absorb odors, and leave a scent-free freshness in the air. We have asthmatics here in the Cavern, and it works for us.

    Oh, yeah — nobody here does windows (does anyone?), but if we did, we’d use corn starch in water (1/4 cup in 1 pint) for washing them, let it dry, then buff with newsprint. Then recycle the newsprint. No streaks. No slimy residue. No scent.

    Somebody’s mother gave us all a book put out by Readers’ Digest that’s just full of « helpful » hints like that. I think she was hoping we’d all get ambitious and tidy the place up before her next visit…

  5. 5


    Thanks for the great cleaning tips. I’ve passed them all on to my wife.

  6. 6
    Barbara Says:

    So you sit there pounding on your computer keyboard and your wife is getting gassed by cleaning products. Paints a lovely picture, Neil! 😉

  7. 7


    I had a subliminal feeling when I wrote those words about my wife’s cleaning that I was leaving myself open to a rocket. Touche.

  8. 8
    Chimera Says:

    « I’ve passed them all on to my wife. »

    Yeah, we tried that around the Cavern, too. The wives just scrunched them all into a little bundle and passed them back!

  9. 9
    Dan R. Says:

    My ex-mother-in-law once figured using two cleaning solvents would better disinfect her bathtup as opposed to one. The result was she mixed a toxic substance that caused a burning sensation in her breathing very quickly and had to be rushed to hospital. In the end, she was OK, but it was a lesson for those who are not even amature chemists!

    Oh, by the way, people fall off chairs, stepladders and find other creative ways to hurt themselves while cleaning house!

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