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How To Prevent Asthma Symptoms While Using Household Cleaning Products

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From bleach to air fresheners and window and glass cleaner, there are many household cleaning products that contain chemicals and scents. Some people may not get any reactions.

However, for many people, most of these common household cleaning products can cause asthma and painful headaches. 

Here's a guide on how to clean around the house while avoiding triggers for asthma symptoms and migraines.

Avoid Using Bleach And Glass Cleaner

Household cleaning products such as bleach, window and glass cleaner, air fresheners, and laundry detergents are associated with asthma symptoms, especially in women.

Other household cleaning products asthma sufferers should avoid, include spray cleaning products, bathroom cleaning products, carpet cleaning products, and floor cleaners. 

Researchers from the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center in Canada analyzed 21 women who used household cleaning products at least twice a day. They found that 17 women reported asthma symptoms, such as sneezing, running nose, and itchy throat.

Stop Using Cleaning Products With Scents

More than 2 million men and women around the United States are allergic to fragrances. 

Similar to perfume, one of the most common smell triggers that can cause asthma symptoms and migraines are air fresheners or products with scents.

In fact, almost every product on the shelves of grocery stores contains scents.

"Scent sells. So not only are there definitely more fragranced products in the world, the fragrances themselves are also more complex. And for many people, repeated exposures can bring about a constellation of symptoms," said Tracie DeFreitas Saab, MS, a human factors consultant with the Job Accommodation Network at West Virginia University.

All Natural Cleaning Product Ingredients

Luckily, there's still a large selection of cleaning alternatives that don't contain harsh chemicals such as bleach.

In addition, some celebrities such as Oprah and Martha Stewart are switching to homemade cleaners with all natural ingredients. Natural cleaning ingredients that are good to keep nearby are white vinegar, natural salt, baking soda, lemons, and washing soda.

"Make a simple all-purpose cleaner by mixing 2 cups water with 2 tablespoons dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle. Use it on countertops and other hard surfaces," suggests Stewart.

"Equal parts white vinegar and water combined with a few drops of citrus essential oil — I prefer orange or grapefruit — makes for a very easy glass cleaner. I use crumpled newspaper to wipe down the windows and keep them lint-free," says Oprah.

Mixing distilled white vinegar and lemon juice also works great when it comes to cleaning and deodorizing household items.

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