Air pollutants have a significant effect on your health. This is especially true if you suffer from asthma. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, about 25 million Americans have asthma, and the rates of asthma have been increasing since the 1980s.
Smooth muscle lines the airways to the lungs. During an asthma attack, the muscle inflames and swells. This causes the airways to constrict and block the flow of air to the lungs. If someone is having an attack, they will cough and wheeze as they struggle to take in enough air through the constricted airway.
Asthma is caused by a combination of factors. Attacks may have a variety of triggers. For instance, your environment plus your genetics all contribute to whether or not you can have or develop asthma. More children than adults currently have asthma. Is this related to an increase in indoor and outdoor pollutants?
The Effects of Indoor and Outdoor Pollutants on Asthma
While asthma has a genetic component, the role of environmental factors that contribute to the illness cannot be ignored. Out-of-doors pollution, ozone, and airborne particles all contribute to the rates of asthma attacks. Indoor pollutants play a role as well. Perfume, smoke from cooking, and household cleaners (among many other indoor pollutants) all affect air quality and can contribute to asthma attacks.
Spray cleaners like aerosol sprays, air fresheners, and glass cleaners all add pollutants to our environment and contribute to asthma attacks. There may be a link between the widespread use of spray cleaners and asthma. Cleaning chemicals contain asthmagens.
Asthmagens are chemicals that can trigger or cause asthma. For more information on asthmagens, see this article. Many of the chemicals in cleaning products may provoke chemical reactions once they are airborne. Additionally, the combination of air pollutants with chemicals released into the air may have further reactions that damage our health. This makes it a good idea to avoid using commercial cleaning products on high pollution days.
Chemical Sensitivity in Asthma Sufferers
People who suffer from asthma are especially sensitive to toxic chemicals in the air from pollutants. These chemicals may even be a factor in developing asthma. This makes sense, since any foreign particle in the air can potentially get into your body and irritate your respiratory system.
Take Action to Reduce Indoor Air Pollutants
There are many benefits to choosing cleaning products that do not become airborne like soap and water or baking soda. They do their job. We don’t need to use harsh, toxic chemicals to get our homes clean. Most importantly, they do not have adverse effects on our health like harsh spray cleaners do.
We need more research to fully understand the effects that toxic cleaning products have on our bodies, but you can take steps now to minimize your risk. The best part is that you can really only benefit from switching from toxic to non-toxic cleaning products.
Learn more about the effects of chemical cleaning products here.