By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) — A new study finds that regularly using cleaning sprays or other cleaning products could put women at risk for lung damage.

Researchers in Norway looked at data from more than 6,000 people followed for more than 20 years and found that women who clean regularly experience a faster reduction in lung function than women who don’t.

They found, specifically for women who work as cleaners, the decline in lung function was almost as large as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years

Cleaning products contain small particles that can be inhaled into the lungs and irritate the membranes that line the airways. That can lead to long-term effects.

The researchers say that in many cases, cleaning chemicals are unnecessary and that microfiber cloths and water are enough for most purposes.

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