Household Cleaning and Respiratory Health

Typical household cleaning tasks expose our lungs to strong chemical agents. Compounds like sodium hypochlorite (bleach), hydrochloric acid, and sodium hydroxide are commonly found mixed together in various cleaning products and have been shown to cause asthma-like symptoms in people who do not have asthma or allergies.1 However, until recently, these symptoms had been identified only after short-term exposure, and there had not been information available regarding the impact of these chemicals over time.

A recent study investigated the long-term effects of chemical agents found in cleaning products on respiratory health. Data analyzed from over 6,000 participants over a 20-year period showed that individuals responsible for cleaning at home or working as occupational cleaners showed a sharper decline in their forced expiratory volume (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC), which are key measures of respiratory health.2 This suggests that household cleaning products—and the chemical agents within them—pose a significant risk to long-term lung function.2

Despite the common use of harsher chemicals, natural products may be effective alternatives to standard cleaners. doTERRA On Guard® Protective Blend contains the organic compounds cinnamaldehyde and limonene, which grant the oil blend its potent surface cleansing properties. If you prefer a citrus scent, Lemon may also be used to cleanse surfaces and purify the air.

As you set goals related to personal health and wellness, don’t forget to consider the cleaning products used in your home and the respiratory health of you and your family.


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