Could everyday cleaning products lead to overweight kids? That’s what a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal seems to indicate.
The study found household disinfectants may be promoting obesity in children by changing the gut bacteria in infants. Of the participants in the study, those who lived in homes where disinfectants were used weekly had a greater risk of being overweight by age 3, in comparison to those where eco-friendly products were in use.
“Take it easy when you’re cleaning with disinfectants,” senior researcher Anita Kozyrskyj, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Alberta in Canada, told HealthDay. “Our observations were at the high end (of cleanliness), with people who were cleaning more than weekly, up to daily.”
Dr. Cecilie Svanes, a professor at the University of Bergen’s Centre for International Health, did a study earlier this year. It found cleaning products could be as damaging to your lungs as smoking a pack of cigarettes every day.
“It adds new and highly significant evidence to the emerging understanding of the rather severe health effects related to the use of cleaning chemicals,” Svanes told Newsweek.
Richard Sedlak, the executive vice president, technical & international affairs for the American Cleaning Institute, says the group was disappointed with the “sensational claims” of the study.
“Proper use of household cleaners and disinfectants is an important contributor to infection control and healthy homes,” Sedlak says in a statement. “These products are trusted by families to effectively clean, sanitize and disinfect areas of their homes, reducing opportunities for children at these young ages to suffer significant illnesses. This point was one of many overlooked factors in the reported study.”