Down with flu again? Maybe your house is ‘too clean’

    cleaning with bleach
    Photo: flickr.com/photos/williambrawley

    Thanks to the effectiveness of bleach, those who clean their houses with the powerful chemical can rest assure that their home is virtually bacteria-free. But is it a good idea to use bleach as a cleaning agent?

    Surprisingly, this was not the case. A study conducted in parts of Europe found that households who clean with bleach on a weekly basis was 20% more likely to come down with flu. The frequent use of bleach was also linked to a 35 per cent rise in the risk of recurrent tonsillitis, a painful condition affecting the throat area.

    The study was focused on the impact of exposure to bleach among more than 9,000 schoolchildren between the ages of six and 12 in the Netherlands, Finland and Barcelona.

    So if bleach helps keep your house germ-free, why are children exposed to the cleaning agent more likely to fall sick? According to the Daily Mail, one possible explanation was that the irritant properties of compounds generated during the cleaning process may damage the lining of lung cells, sparking inflammation and making it easier for infections to take hold.

    However, the study also emphasised that the result was only observational, so it could not conclude that cleaning with bleach may indeed be making you sick.

     

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