Monday, April 20, 2015

News About Bleach and Illness

A brief article in the Science and Health section of the Sunday Star Tribune let us all in on this bit of startling news:

Bleach tied to respiratory ills

Cleaning with bleach at home is associated with higher rates of respiratory illness in children, a study found.

Researchers studied the use of bleach in the homes of 9,102 9- and 10-year-olds in Spain, Finland and the Netherlands and assessed its effects on respiratory health. The study is in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

The researchers found that the use of bleach in homes at least once a week increased the risk of respiratory infections by 18 percent overall. But it was associated with a 20 percent increase in the risk of flu and a 35 percent increase in the risk for recurrent tonsillitis.
I wonder about cause and effect, of course -- isn't it possible that people whose kids are sick a lot are more likely to wipe surfaces down with bleach?

But even so, an interesting point. Remember, state child care licensing rules in Minnesota (and probably many other states) require child care centers to clean tables with a bleach and water solution throughout the day, every day. (Alternatives to bleach are allowed, but bleach is the named product, so you can bet that the vast majority use bleach.)

No comments: