Nurses who used disinfectants to clean surfaces at least once a week had a 24 percent to 32 percent increased risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) according to a study by the French Institute of Health and Medical Research.
The study followed 55,185 nurses with no prior history of COPD for eight years. During this time, 663 of the nurses were diagnosed with COPD, Newsweek reported.
The study identified glutaraldehyde, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, and quaternary ammonium compounds (quats) as COPD risks. It did not investigate whether wearing gloves or a face mask when using these disinfectants would lessen the risk. A pulmonologist involved in the study suggested that people avoid using these products in spray form to reduce their inhalation exposure.