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How "clean" is the cleaning profession?
Occup Environ Med 2005 Sep; 62(9):586-587
Commentary-Asthma: Based on the assumption that cleanliness equates with healthiness, many people are likely to consider the cleaning profession to be relatively free of health risks. In fact, some cleaning compounds, either alone or mixed, pose a risk for inhalation injuries, and this risk is heightened when cleaners work in a confined space, such as a small lavatory. The harmful agents are usually irritant aerosols or gases, which means that cleaners are at risk for irritant induced asthma, including reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS), and other respiratory diseases. Over the past 15 years, professional cleaners have emerged as one of the high risk groups for work related asthma in industrialised nations. (Commentary on Medina-Ramon et al., Occup Environ Med 2005, Sept. 62(9):598-606).
Cleaning-compounds; Respiratory-irritants; Respiratory-system-disorders; Lung-disease; Irritant-gases; Aerosols; Vapors; Fumes; Occupational-exposure; Risk-factors; Statistical-analysis
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, Mail Stop H2800, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505
Issue of Publication
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division