, Volume 58, Issue 5, pp 757-764
Date: 11 Oct 2012

The use of household cleaning products during pregnancy and lower respiratory tract infections and wheezing during early life

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access



To evaluate the effects of household use of cleaning products during pregnancy on infant wheezing and lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI).


In four prospective Spanish birth cohorts (n = 2,292), pregnant women reported the use of household cleaning products. When infants were 12–18 months old, current cleaning product use and infant’s wheezing and LRTI were reported. Cohort-specific associations between the use of specific products and respiratory outcomes were evaluated using multivariable regression analyses and estimates were combined using random-effects meta-analyses.


The period prevalence of LRTI was higher when sprays (combined odds ratio (OR) = 1.29; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.04–1.59) or air fresheners (OR = 1.29; CI 1.03–1.63) were used during pregnancy. The odds of wheezing increased with spray (OR = 1.37; CI 1.10–1.69) and solvent (OR = 1.30; CI 1.03–1.62) use. The associations between spray and air freshener use during pregnancy and both outcomes remained apparent when these products were not used after pregnancy. Nevertheless, the estimates were higher when post-natal exposure was included.


The use of cleaning sprays, air fresheners and solvents during pregnancy may increase the risk of wheezing and infections in the offspring.