It’s standard practice for most people who work out at a gym to clean equipment before and after using it – for the obvious hygiene reasons but also out of respect for others.
Despite these good intentions, using a disinfectant spray can be downright irritating to the nearby folks who inevitably end up inhaling these vapours (whether they want to or not). If you’ve ever gotten a mouthful of cleaning vapour while running on a treadmill, you know just how unpleasant it can be.
And you’re not alone. The substances contained in these sprays are widely known for irritating the respiratory tract. The vapours narrow and restrict airflow into the lungs, causing shortness of breath and tightness in the chest (which certainly won’t help anyone’s workout). Being exposed to spray vapours may even increase your risk of experiencing asthma symptoms. The list of asthma “triggers” is already pretty long: pollen, animal dander, dust mites, smoke, air pollutants… Now spray cleaning products can be added to this list.
Spray cleaners aren’t only a problem at the gym, however; they can often be found at home, school and work as well.
Studies have shown a correlation between spray cleaners and asthma. What’s more, allergy experts believe that children who develop wheezing after exposure to cleaning sprays are more likely to develop asthma as they get older. Given that we are increasingly encouraged to clean, sanitize and disinfect, the use of cleaning products of all kinds has skyrocketed in recent years. So has the number of asthma cases (although this increase is not solely linked to the use of cleaning products). Still, the connection is worth noting.
How can you steer clear of spray vapours? Use wet wipes instead of a spray product. Or, if spraying is your only option, spray directly into a cloth instead of at the surface being cleaned. If using a spray, air out the room or even wear a mask, especially for big cleaning jobs. Your lungs will thank you for it!