By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – New parents often thoroughly clean their homes to reduce their baby’s exposure to germs, but new research suggests cleaning products could actually increase a child’s risk of asthma.

Asthma is the most common chronic disease in childhood. A new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal finds that babies under three months of age living in homes where cleaning products are frequently used were more likely to develop wheezing and asthma by age three. The greatest link was with air fresheners, dusting sprays, hand sanitizers, and oven cleaners.

Researchers said babies spend more of their time indoors and are particularly vulnerable to chemical exposure because they breathe fast and often come in contact with household surfaces.

Dr. Mallika Marshall