COMMON households products could be dangerous for asthma sufferers, experts have warned.
Items like shampoo and air fresheners contain chemicals that can trigger breathing difficulties.
New research by Smartline found dozens of regularly used products in people's homes should carry a warning.
As cleaning and cosmetic items used daily without a second thought may be risky for asthma sufferers.
One study found a 15 per cent increased risk of asthma with exposure to Limonene.
This is a naturally occurring chemical found in the rind of citrus fruits.
It is used to give things like shampoos, soap and air fresheners a nice smell.
The chemical is also found in products like wood and kitchen paint, which can often increase asthmatic symptoms.
Led by the University of Exeter, the study looked into Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids.
Varnishes and wax, many cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing and hobby products may all contain ingredients that emit VOCs, the study warned.
They found even people without asthma or respiratory illnesses are at risk.
In 12 studies scientists found high exposure to VOCs can also also causes wheezing and shortness of breath for people without breathing issues.
Asthma impacts around 10 per cent of the UK’s adult population – one of the highest rates in the world.
Lead researcher, Cheryl Paterson of the University of Exeter, said: “Our findings are concerning because we often use multiple products at home and people are unaware of the dangers.
"For example, the findings show the risk of asthma to increase by 40 per cent for people exposed to five VOCs.
"Another study found that people without asthma are also at risk of wheezing attacks, especially when exposed to products containing benzene, a common chemical used to make other industrial chemicals and as a solvent in many everyday products."
Professor Karyn Morrissey, Smartline’s Principal Investigator, said: “As people are spending more time indoors, our research is particularly important to inform new public health strategies to reduce ashthma.
"To raise awareness of the potential health risks, industry and policymakers need to use more explicit health warnings on product labels.
"This should include better health messaging and advice about using and storing these chemicals in the home, including proper ventilation while in use.”
Asthma is a respiratory condition caused by inflammation of the breathing tubes that carry air to and from our lungs, and it currently affects over 5 million people across the UK.
According to the NHS, the main symptoms of asthma are:
- Wheezing (a whistling sound when breathing)
- A tight chest
Although the above symptoms can have a number of causes, they are likely signs of asthma if they happen regularly and keep coming back, are worse at night or early morning, or seem to be in response to an allergen.
The severity of the above symptoms can vary between different people.
When these symptoms suddenly worsen temporarily, it is known as an asthma attack.
Asthma attacks can be caused by allergens, such as animal fur or pollen, cold air, exercise, chest infections or other irritants – such as cigarette smoke.
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