New report finds no causal link between product exposures and new-onset asthma

The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) today released a report summarizing outcomes from the Asthma Science Forum, a 2011 gathering organized and attended by scientists and expert researchers from an array of chemical and consumer-product organizations, including the American Chemistry Council.

There are lots of questions and misunderstandings about asthma and the factors that might cause or exacerbate this condition. The goal of the Asthma Science Forum was to explore both the clinical and biological basis for asthma and other respiratory conditions and provide information that could be used to address issues and data gaps associated with current asthma research.

At the Forum, the participating researchers and scientists explored the relationship between asthma and exposure to consumer products and product ingredients, and concluded that the database of current studies does Anot demonstrate a causal relationship between product exposures and new-onset asthma.

The report from the Forum indicates that there is evidence that suggests some product exposures could trigger asthma-like symptoms in people that already have asthma or bronchial sensitivity, but it is not known whether irritants alone can cause asthma or respiratory allergic sensitization.

Evaluating exposure and identifying whether such exposure might cause or exacerbate asthma and allergy conditions is complicated, because in daily life people are exposed to a wide mixture of products, environmental contaminants, and microbial agents. Genetic factors also can have a significant impact on a person’s susceptibility to asthma and allergies.

The report from the Forum reaffirms that educating consumers on safe use of products and materials, as well as evaluating the benefits of products’ use with potential risks, is very important to minimize exposure and potential for harm.

More information is available in ACI’s press release on the report.

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