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Are my cleaning products affecting my asthma?

AAFA's "Ask the Allergist" is a free service provided by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Our allergist will answer your questions about asthma and allergies. We provide only general advice about managing asthma or allergies, medicines and treatments. "Ask the Allergist" does not answer questions about specific consumer products. This information is not a substitute for medical advice from your physician. Always talk with your doctor before changing your asthma or allergy management plan.

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Regular household cleaning products seem to trigger my asthma. What do I do if I can't find a mask to wear while cleaning? Do you have suggestions for products that may clean and disinfect?

Strong odors and airway irritants can be non-allergic triggers of asthma.

First, I would recommend using fewer toxic cleaning products like bleach. Warm water and soap work well for most things. If possible, open windows and run exhaust fans while cleaning. Avoid aerosol sprays.

Wearing any mask while cleaning may help. An N95 mask might work best if you can find one.

You can find more information on cleaning best practices here.

Asthma, Environmental Control, Indoor Air Quality
Answered by

Douglas T. Johnston D.O. FAAAAI, FACAAI

Reviewed and Answered

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