Kids’ Asthma Risk

Exposure to fumes emitted by cleaning products in the home could cause asthma in children, according to a study in the British Medical Association's journal Thorax.

The study found that children exposed to higher levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were four times more likely to suffer from asthma than children who were not.

VOCs are found in solvents, paints, floor adhesives, cleaning products, polishes, room fresheners and fitted carpets, the study said.

The authors, led by Krassi Rumchev of the School of Public Health at Curtin University of Technology in Australia, studied 88 children who were treated for asthma at the emergency department of the Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth, informs ABC News.

Indoor levels of VOCs were much higher in the homes of children with asthma. The highest asthma risk was associated with benzene, ethylbenzene, and toluene.

The study authors concluded that their study, though small, supports their theory that exposure to indoor pollutants early in life may be an important factor in later development of asthma.

In another study, researchers from the University of Sydney found no association between the current use of indoor heating appliances that emit fumes and the development of respiratory problems in children. But the researchers did find a 47 percent greater likelihood of wheezing and hyperactive airways among children who lived in a home with this type of heater during the first year of life, reports Forbes.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team