New study shows regular use of house cleaners just as harmful as cigarettes

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(CNN) -- A new study suggests the toxic chemicals found in most cleaning products may be just as harmful as the ones in cigarettes.

Researchers say regular use of house cleaners is just as harmful as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. The study was published in a journal from the American Thoracic Society.

More than 6,000 men and women around the world were tracked for twenty years. The women who used cleaning supplies daily, either at home or work, were linked to a sharp decline in lung capacity. They also had a higher risk of asthma.

It's unclear why the same trend was not seen in men.

Scientists suggest you ditch the sprays and clean using a cloth and water instead or use products with safer disinfectants and organic ingredients like rubbing alcohol.

Researchers hope their findings highlight the need for cleaning products that lower the exposure of harmful chemicals.