Occupational Exposure to Cleaning Agents and Asthma in Women from the EGEA Study

Orianne Dumas, Frédéric Luu, Dick Heederik, Michel Hery, Valérie Siroux, Rachel Nadif, Dominique Choudat, Jan-Paul Zock, Francine Kauffmann, Nicole Le Moual





The deleterious role of cleaning products in work-related asthma has been suggested in recent studies. We aimed to study the relationship between asthma and occupational asthmagens, with a particular attention to cleaning agents, separately in men and women.



Analyses were conducted in 656 men and 699 women (18–79 years) from the follow-up of the case-control and familial Epidemiological study on the Genetics and Environment of Asthma (EGEA), with available data for work history. Lifetime and current occupational exposures to 18 specific asthmagens, including industrial cleaning agents, were estimated using an asthma job-exposure matrix with an expert re-evaluation step. Subjects with current asthma (266 men, 247 women), current adult-onset asthma (77 men, 98 women), or current asthma with high asthma symptom score (164 men, 176 women) were compared to non-asthmatics. Analyses were stratified by sex and adjusted for age and smoking.



32% of men and 28% of women had ever been exposed to asthmagens. Women were more exposed than men to cleaning agents (9% vs 2%,p<0.001). Current asthma was not associated with lifetime exposure to asthmagens overall in men (adjusted OR (95% CI): 0.90 (0.61 to 1.33) nor in women (0.99 (0.68 to 1.46). In women, lifetime exposure to cleaning agents was associated with current asthma (overall: 1.80 (0.99 to 3.27), adult-onset: 2.08 (1.02 to 4.26), high symptom score: 2.15 (1.14 to 3.96); current exposure was associated with current asthma (2.72 (0.98 to 7.56).



Our results confirm the deleterious role of occupational exposure to cleaning agents on asthma in women and are consistent with a role in both new-onset and work-exacerbated asthma. Grants: AFSSET-EST-09-15, PHC Van Gogh.


Occup Environ Med 2011;68:A30 doi:10.1136/oemed-2011-100382.95



Orianne Dumas - 1
Frédéric Luu - 1
Dick Heederik - 2
Michel Hery - 3
Valérie Siroux - 4
Rachel Nadif - 1
Dominique Choudat - 5
Jan-Paul Zock - 6
Francine Kauffmann -1
Nicole Le Moual -1

    1 - Inserm U1018, Villejuif, France
    2 - Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    3 - Institut National de Recherche et de Sécurité, Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France
    4 - Inserm U823, Grenoble, France
    5 - Université Paris-Descartes, Paris, France
    6 - CREAL, Barcelona, Spain




Occupational Exposure to Cleaning Agents and Asthma in Women from the EGEA Study:  Created on October 10th, 2012.  Last Modified on October 10th, 2012


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