(CNN/Meredith) -- A spray here and a spray there from your household cleaning products may have a dangerous impact on your respiratory system. Researchers said the regular use of house cleaners is just as harmful as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.
The study was published in a journal from the American Thoracic Society. More than 6,000 men and women around the world were tracked for twenty years.
The study found that compared to women not engaged in cleaning:
Forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), or the amount of air a person can forcibly exhale in one second, declined 3.6 milliliters (ml)/year faster in women who cleaned at home and 3.9 ml/year faster in women who worked as cleaners.
Forced vital capacity (FVC), or the total amount of air a person can forcibly exhale, declined 4.3 ml/year faster in women who cleaned at home and 7.1 ml/year faster in women who worked as cleaners.
The women who used cleaning supplies daily either at home or at work were linked to a sharp decline in lung capacity. They also had a higher risk of asthma.
It's unclear why the same trend was not seen in men.
But scientists suggest you ditch the sprays and clean using a cloth and water instead.
Or use products with safer disinfectants and organic ingredients like rubbing alcohol. Researchers said they hope their findings highlight the need for cleaning products that lower the exposure to harmful chemicals