Disinfectant use during pregnancy linked to childhood asthma and eczema

eurekalert.org -- Mar 29
Use of disinfectants by pregnant women may be a risk factor for asthma and eczema in their children, finds a population study, published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Disinfectants are used frequently in hospitals and other medical facilities, and the covid-19 pandemic has led to an increase in their use in medical settings and also more widely, including by the general population.

Exposure to disinfectants in the workplace has been linked to asthma and dermatitis previously in the workers exposed, but few studies have looked at the impact of disinfectant use during pregnancy and the subsequent development of allergic disease in children.

The authors used data on 78 915 mother-child pairs who participated in the Japan Environment and Children’s Study to examine whether mothers’ exposure to disinfectants in the workplace was associated with increased risk of diagnosis of allergic diseases in their children when aged 3 years.

The odds of children having asthma or eczema were significantly higher if their mothers used disinfectant one to six times a week compared with the odds in children of mothers who never used disinfectants.