Study: Disinfectant use by pregnant women may increase risk for asthma, eczema in children

DAYTON — With the pandemic and spring cleaning season coming up, many of us have stocked up on disinfectants.

But a new study shows the use of disinfectants by expecting mothers to be a risk factor for asthma and eczema in their children.

The odds of children having asthma or eczema were significantly higher when mothers used disinfectants one to six times a week, compared to mothers who never used them.

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The highest rate was among mothers who used disinfectants daily — 26 percent greater for asthma and 20 percent greater for eczema.

The study was observational so it can not determine cause, just risk.

The American Pregnancy Association also notes that prenatal exposure to spray cleaners could increase the risk of asthma.

This is mostly due to the toxic ingredients found in almost all spray cans.

The ingredients you will want to keep an eye out for are Glycol Ethers.

This substance has been linked to miscarriages, a decrease in male fertility and birth defects, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

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But these chemicals aren’t only dangerous to expecting mothers.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America said that products used to clean your house can be as harmful to your lungs as smoking several cigarettes a day.

Dr. Joseph Allen, regional medical director with Priemer Health, said that you will want to make sure you’re using gloves or some sort of barrier to protect you from exposure.

Other barriers could include opening a window or wearing a mask.

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