A detailed, twenty-year study of over six thousand people revealed that regular use of popular cleaning sprays has an extremely detrimental effect on lung health. How bad? Comparable to smoking an entire pack of cigarettes a day.

The effects were most noticeable in women working as cleaners or even regularly using the products at home. While there has been a long-standing link between these products and the short-term effects of their chemicals on asthma, this is the first time the effects have been investigated over an extended period of time.

Researchers believe that the aggregate effect of breathing in the chemicals from cleaning products irritate the mucous membranes in the lungs, which are also what are harmed by smoking. Over time, this leads to lasting damage to the lungs, prohibiting aerobic function. The particles in the chemicals are meant for the floor, not your lungs, and over time damage is almost inevitable.

Scientists now advise replacing these sprays with simple microfiber cloths and water. While this may require more labor, the cumulative health benefits would make it worth it. Perhaps a market will now emerge for safer cleaning products that will make these sprays less harmful, but for now their detriments are clear.