A new study says that using bleach and other common household disinfectants can increase risk of developing a potentially fatal lung disease.
According to the study, regularly breathing into the strong cleaning chemicals can increase risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The findings hold special implication for nurses, cleaners and others who use the products daily.
COPD is a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties including emphysema or chronic bronchitis.
The study, conducted at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, led by Dr Orianne Dumas looked at nurses who have to disinfect instruments and wards as part of their duties.
The study looked at exposure to specific disinfectants such as gluteraldehyde, bleachm hydrogen peroxide, alcohol and quaternary ammonium compounds used for low-level disinfection of surfaces such as floors and furniture
All of these ‘were associated with an increased risk of COPD of between 24 to 32 per cent.’
According to Dumas, nurses who use disinfectants to clean surfaces on a regular basis - at least once a week - had a 22 per cent increased risk of developing COPD.