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The impact of home cleaning on quality of life for homes with asthmatic children

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Treatment with common household bleach containing hypochlorite destroys dust mites and denatures protein allergens. The purpose of this study was to determine if home use of hypochlorite products results in lowered exposure to bacteria, fungi, and protein allergens and improved quality of life (QOL) for asthmatic persons in the home. Asthmatic and nonasthmatic households containing at least three persons (between 2 and 17 years of age) were recruited. Households were supplied one of three sets of cleaning products (regular products, some containing hypochlorite; regular products plus three additional products with dilute hypochlorite; control, no products). Participants were supplied with cleaning instructions and asthma education. The control group was instructed to clean as usual. Participants completed general health and QOL questionnaires. Asthmatic participants completed an additional asthma QOL questionnaire. Families participated in the study for 8 weeks and completed the full set of questions every 2 weeks. Homes were visited at the beginning of the study and twice thereafter at monthly intervals. Samples evaluated were surface bacteria, viable and nonviable airborne spores, and dust antigen content. Reductions in surface bacteria, airborne fungal spores, and dust antigen levels were achieved. Significant improvement in general health parameters was seen for the asthmatic product groups over the control group. Significant improvement in general QOL and asthma-specific QOL was seen in the asthmatic group. Emphasis on cleaning and cleaning education combined with hypochlorite-based cleaning supplies resulted in significantly improved QOL for families with asthmatic children.
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Keywords: Aerobiology; allergens; asthma; bleach; cleaning; environmental; healthy homes; hypochlorite; pediatric; quality of life

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The Department of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri

Publication date: 01 March 2008

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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