ABSTRACT: Treatment with common household bleach containing hypochlorite destroys dust mites and denatures protein allergens. The purpose of this study was to determine if home use of hypochlorite products results in lowered exposure to bacteria, fungi, and protein allergens and improved quality of life (QOL) for asthmatic persons in the home. Asthmatic and nonasthmatic households containing at least three persons (between 2 and 17 years of age) were recruited. Households were supplied one of three sets of cleaning products (regular products, some containing hypochlorite; regular products plus three additional products with dilute hypochlorite; control, no products). Participants were supplied with cleaning instructions and asthma education. The control group was instructed to clean as usual. Participants completed general health and QOL questionnaires. Asthmatic participants completed an additional asthma QOL questionnaire. Families participated in the study for 8 weeks and completed the full set of questions every 2 weeks. Homes were visited at the beginning of the study and twice thereafter at monthly intervals. Samples evaluated were surface bacteria, viable and nonviable airborne spores, and dust antigen content. Reductions in surface bacteria, airborne fungal spores, and dust antigen levels were achieved. Significant improvement in general health parameters was seen for the asthmatic product groups over the control group. Significant improvement in general QOL and asthma-specific QOL was seen in the asthmatic group. Emphasis on cleaning and cleaning education combined with hypochlorite-based cleaning supplies resulted in significantly improved QOL for families with asthmatic children.
Allergy and Asthma Proceedings 29(2):197-204. · 2.17 Impact Factor