Survey: Cleaning product use affecting asthma more during COVID-19 measures

February 10, 2021

Those with asthma are experiencing less asthma control related to an increase in using household disinfectants -- known asthma triggers -- because of COVID-19, according to a survey co-conducted by University of Illinois Chicago researchers.

"We became concerned with increased cleaning and disinfecting related to the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with people spending more time indoors may expose people with asthma to more environmental triggers for asthma symptoms," Eldeirawi said. "This prompted our interest in studying the impact of disinfectants and asthma control among those living with asthma."

Cleaning products are considered respiratory irritants that cause inflammation and bronchial hyperresponsiveness, Eldeirawi explained.

In the online survey, conducted between May and September 2020, adults with asthma answered questions about handwashing and hand sanitizer use, household disinfectant use and frequency. They also were asked five questions about asthma symptoms, use of rescue medications, effect of asthma on daily functioning, and personal control over the past four weeks with responses on a 1-5 scale to determine participants' asthma control score, which ranges from 5 to 25. A score of 19 or less was considered an indication of uncontrolled asthma.

Of the 795 respondents, the percent who reported household disinfectant use five or more times per week increased 138% for disinfectant wipes, 121% for disinfectant sprays, 155% for bleach and water solution, and 89% for other liquids since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Researchers also observed significant associations of frequent disinfectant use since the pandemic with uncontrolled asthma. And, while the researchers did not collect data on increases in health care providers' or ER visits for asthma, a large percentage of the respondents indicated having had an asthma attack, Eldeirawi said.

The study indicates people with asthma could be negatively affected by increases in disinfectant use and should discuss with their health care providers safer alternatives for cleaning, as well as managing symptoms. Cleaning product alternatives include vinegar, water and a drop of dish detergent, 70% alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide.

Eldeirawi said it is yet unknown what COVID-19's impact is on those with asthma, but research is being conducted around the world. Eldeirawi and his research team will continue their research, this time asking survey respondents about their symptoms and mask use.
-end-
The research paper's additional authors are Luz Huntington-Moskos of the University of Louisville, Dr. Sharmilee Nyenhuis of UIC, and Barbara Polivka of the University of Kansas.

University of Illinois at Chicago

Related Asthma Articles from Brightsurf:

Breastfeeding and risks of allergies and asthma
In an Acta Paediatrica study, exclusive breastfeeding for the first 3 months was linked with a lower risk of respiratory allergies and asthma when children reached 6 years of age.

Researchers make asthma breakthrough
Researchers from Trinity College Dublin have made a breakthrough that may eventually lead to improved therapeutic options for people living with asthma.

Physics vs. asthma
A research team from the MIPT Center for Molecular Mechanisms of Aging and Age-Related Diseases has collaborated with colleagues from the U.S., Canada, France, and Germany to determine the spatial structure of the CysLT1 receptor.

New knowledge on the development of asthma
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have studied which genes are expressed in overactive immune cells in mice with asthma-like inflammation of the airways.

Eating fish may help prevent asthma
A scientist from James Cook University in Australia says an innovative study has revealed new evidence that eating fish can help prevent asthma.

Academic performance of urban children with asthma worse than peers without asthma
A new study published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology shows urban children with poorly controlled asthma, particularly those who are ethnic minorities, also suffer academically.

Asthma Controller Step Down Yardstick -- treatment guidance for when asthma improves
The focus for asthma treatment is often stepping up treatment, but clinicians need to know how to step down therapy when symptoms improve.

Asthma management tools improve asthma control and reduce hospital visits
A set of comprehensive asthma management tools helps decrease asthma-related visits to the emergency department, urgent care or hospital and improves patients' asthma control.

Asthma linked to infertility but not among women taking regular asthma preventers
Women with asthma who only use short-acting asthma relievers take longer to become pregnant than other women, according to research published in the European Respiratory Journal.

What are the best ways to diagnose and manage asthma?
A team of experts from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston examined the current information available from many different sources on diagnosing and managing mild to moderate asthma in adults and summarized them.

Read More: Asthma News and Asthma Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.