Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Occupational Cleaning & Lung Function Decline

Am J Respir Crit Care Med; ePub 2018 Feb 16; Svanes, et al

Women cleaning at home or working as occupational cleaners had accelerated decline in lung function, a recent study found. The ECRHS study, which has investigated a multicenter population based cohort at 3 time points over 20 years, included 6,230 participants with at least 1 lung function measurement from 22 study centers. Researchers found:

  • Compared to women not engaged in cleaning, forced expiratory volume (FEV1) declined more rapidly in women responsible for cleaning at home (-22.1, p=0.01) and occupational cleaners (-22.4, p=0.03).
  • The same was found for decline in forced vital capacity (FVC).
  • Both cleaning sprays and other cleaning agents were associated with accelerated FEV1 decline (-22.0, p=0.04 and -22.9, p=0.0004, respectively).
  • Cleaning was not significantly associated with lung function decline in men or with chronic airway obstruction.


Svanes Ø, Bertelsen RJ, Lygre SH, et al. Cleaning at home and at work in relation to lung function decline and airway obstruction. [Published online ahead of print February 16, 2018]. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. doi:10.1164/rccm.201706-1311OC.

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