Household Cleaning Products More Harmful to Lungs Than Cigarettes?

A new, independent study based on 20 years of research reveals a sobering fact: cleaning your home with common, well-known grocery store products made with ammonia, chlorine bleach, quaternary disinfectant compounds and other dangerous chemicals significantly damages lung tissue in women. In fact, the study showed that cleaning with such products as little as once per week was as damaging over time to respiratory health as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years. The study was recently published in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Their shocking findings are as follows: women are affected far more than men; cleaning at home is just as harmful as being an occupational cleaner, if not more so; liquid cleaners are just as dangerous as sprays; ammonia, chlorine bleach, quaternary disinfecting compounds and other dangerous chemicals appear to be primary culprits; women who regularly use cleaning products have increased rates of asthma; and damage is cumulative over time.

What kind of products use ingredients that contain ammonia, quaternary disinfectants, chlorine bleach and other dangerous chemicals? Nearly all home cleaning products, including disinfectants, bathroom cleaners, toilet cleaners, shower and tub cleaners, scrubs, stain removers, floor cleaners, degreasers, window and glass cleaners and all-purpose cleaners.

What should be used instead? Melaleuca scientists have formulated cleaning products that effectively perform household chores without the cheap, available and now documented-as-dangerous chemicals cited in this study. The EcoSense line has taken a firm stance on the harmful ingredients in this study and will never use them. Melaleuca cleaning products are so safe that no child safety caps are required, and they clean as well as or better than the competitive products that use dangerous ingredients.

For more information about safer cleaning products, call Anne McKechnie, Exeutive Director at 520-990-5268 or visit Read the full study at

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