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Journal Articles Environment International Year : 2020

Domestic exposure to irritant cleaning agents and asthma in women


An adverse role of frequent domestic use of cleaning agents, especially in spray form, on asthma has been reported. However, sparse studies have investigated respiratory health effects of chronic domestic exposure to irritant cleaning agents. This study aims to investigate associations between weekly use of irritant domestic cleaning products and current allergic and non-allergic asthma in a large cohort of elderly women. We used data from the Asthma-E3N nested case-control study on asthma (n = 19,404 women, response rate: 91%, 2011), in which participants completed standardized questionnaires on asthma and on the use of domestic cleaning products including irritants (bleach, ammonia, solvents and acids). Allergic multimorbidity in asthma was assessed from allergic-related medications recorded in drug refunds database. The association between use of irritants and current asthma was estimated by logistic regression (current vs. never asthma) and multinomial logistic regression (never asthma, non-allergic asthma, allergic asthma) adjusted on age, smoking status and body mass index (BMI). In the 12,758 women included in the analysis (mean age: 70 years, current smokers: 4%, BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2: 32%, low education: 11%, current asthma: 23%), 47% reported weekly use of at least one irritant cleaning product at home. Weekly use of irritant products was associated with a higher risk of current asthma (adjusted Odds-Ratio: 1.17, 1.07-1.27). A statistically significant dose-response association was reported (p trend < 0.0001), with both the number of irritant products used weekly (1 irritant: 1.12, 1.02-1.23; 2 irritants: 1.21, 1.05-1.39; 3 irritants or more: 2.08, 1.57-2.75) and the frequency of use (1-3 days/week: 1.12, 1.02-1.23; 4-7 days/week: 1.41,1.22-1.64). A dose-response association was observed with the frequency of products used (p trend < 0.05), for both non-allergic (4-7 days/week: 1.27, 1.02-1.57) and allergic asthma (1.52, 1.27-1.82). In conclusion, weekly use of common cleaning irritants was associated with an increased risk of current asthma, whatever the allergic status.
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inserm-02939405 , version 1 (15-09-2020)



Pierre Lemire, Orianne Dumas, Sébastien Chanoine, Sofia Temam, Gianluca Severi, et al.. Domestic exposure to irritant cleaning agents and asthma in women. Environment International, 2020, 144, pp.106017. ⟨10.1016/j.envint.2020.106017⟩. ⟨inserm-02939405⟩
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