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J Occup Environ Med. 2019 Jun 19. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001655. [Epub ahead of print]

Association Between Occupational Exposure to Disinfectants and Asthma in Young Adults Working in Cleaning or Health Services - Results From A Cross-Sectional Analysis in Germany.

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Institute and Clinic for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, University Hospital, LMU Munich, Munich, Germany (Weinmann, Forster, Nowak, Radon, Gerlich); Comprehensive Pneumology Centre (CPC), German Centre for Lung Research (DZL), Munich, Munich, Germany (Weinmann, Forster, Mutius, Windstetter, Nowak, Radon, Gerlich); Dr. v. Haunersches Kinderspital, University Hospital, LMU Munich, Munich, Germany (Mutius); Paediatric Department, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden, TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany (Vogelberg); Institute of Epidemiology and Medical Biometry, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany (Genuneit); and Pediatric Epidemiology, Department of Pediatrics, University Medicine Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany (Genuneit).



To analyse the association of occupational disinfectants use with asthma and wheezing in young professionals.


365 participants from the German Study on Occupational Allergy Risks II aged 20 to 24 years and working in cleaning or health services answered a questionnaire on respiratory health, occupational exposure to disinfectants, and potential confounders. By logistic regression we calculated the association between duration of occupational disinfectants exposure and doctor-diagnosed asthma, current asthma, and current wheezing.


Individuals exposed to disinfectants for more than twelve months had almost three times the odds of doctor-diagnosed asthma compared to those not exposed (OR: 2.99, 95% CI: 1.36-6.55).


Our findings provide some further evidence for an association between occupational exposure to disinfectants and asthma, indicating that this association can be seen already after the first year of exposure.

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