A study by Imperial College London and funded by Asthma UK suggests that adult onset asthma could be occupationally related. A sample showed that one in six of those who came of working age in the 1970s and who took up roles involving cleaning products developed the condition by age 45.
However, the British Cleaning Council is confident that these are historical results only, and that advances in dosing technology, the use of less potent chemicals, and clearer usage guidelines have resulted in a much reduced exposure to chemicals.
Andrew Large, Secretary General said: “The BCC welcomes this research as it confirms that changes made in the cleaning industry over the last few decades were necessary and the right thing to do. We look forward to further research into how new practices have impacted and we would expect to see a significant reduction in adult onset asthma related to cleaning.”
Andrew added: “It is crucial that those industries where the use of cleaning products is an aspect, such as hairdressing, give proper training. Simple changes such as spraying product onto a cloth rather than directly on to a surface can make a huge difference in chemical exposure. Awareness is paramount in reducing health risks.”
Notes for editors
The British Cleaning Council is the voice of the UK cleaning industry. It was established in 1982 to coordinate the affairs of the industry and to be responsible at home and abroad on industry matters.
The British Cleaning Council provides a forum for members to meet and work together to raise the profile of the industry and help it gain the credibility it deserves. It also promotes and encourages improvements in health, hygiene and general cleanliness standards.
The British Cleaning Council has 21 members, which cover every facet of the multi-million pound UK cleaning industry.
The study was released on the 22 January in the Thorax International Journal of Respiratory Medicine. An abstract can be accessed here: http://thorax.bmj.com/content/early/2013/01/08/thoraxjnl-2012-202151.abstract
For interview and further information please contact:
Melissa Higgs – Media and Policy Manager
British Cleaning Coucil
Tel 0207 920 9640