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