L’exposition aux produits de nettoyage a été associée à des troubles respiratoires. Cette étude visait à examiner l’incidence, les tendances de l’incidence et les déterminants professionnels des troubles respiratoires liés au travail attribués aux agents nettoyants et à explorer le rôle des « relations quantitatives structure-activité » dans la corroboration de l’identification des sensibilisants chimiques respiratoires.
Objectives Exposure to cleaning products has been associated with adverse respiratory outcomes. This study aimed to investigate the medically reported incidence, trends in incidence and occupational determinants of work-related respiratory disorders attributed to cleaning agents and to explore the role of ‘Quantitative Structure Activity Relationships’ (QSAR) in corroborating the identification of chemical respiratory sensitisers. Methods Respiratory diagnoses attributed to cleaning agents were extracted from The Health and Occupation Research (THOR) surveillance network, 1989–2017. Incidence, trends in incidence and incidence rate ratios by occupation were investigated. Agents were classified by chemical type and QSAR hazard indices were determined for specific organic chemicals. Results Approximately 6% (779 cases) of the (non-asbestos) THOR respiratory cases were attributed to cleaning agents. Diagnoses were predominantly asthma (58%) and inhalation accidents (27%) with frequently reported chemical categories being aldehydes (30%) and chlorine/its releasers (26%). No significant trend in asthma incidence (1999–2017) was observed (annual average change of −1.1% (95% CI −4.4 to 2.4)). This contrasted with a statistically significant annual decline in asthma incidence (−6.8% (95% CI −8.0 to −5.6)) for non-cleaning agents. There was a large variation in risk between occupations. 7 of the 15 organic chemicals specifically identified had a QSAR generated hazard index consistent with being a respiratory sensitiser. Conclusion Specific occupations appear to be at increased risk of adverse respiratory outcomes attributed to cleaning agents. While exposure to agents such as glutaraldehyde have been addressed, other exposures, such as to chlorine, remain important. Chemical features of the cleaning agents helped distinguish between sensitising and irritant agents.