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expert reaction to conference abstract (unpublished work) on disinfectant use and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) in nurses

Scientists giving a conference talk at the European Respiratory Society Congress present research that reports that regular use if disinfectants is linked to a higher risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in nurses in the USA.


Dr Sheena Cruickshank, British Society for Immunology spokesperson, and Senior Lecturer in Immunology at the University of Manchester, said:

“COPD is a complex disease and it is known that the likelihood of developing COPD is greater if you have smoked and increases the longer you have smoked. Other factors that irritate the airways may further aggravate symptoms such as pollution (internal and external).  Without being able to see the analysis, and how any adjustments were done for such factors as smoking, it is very difficult to know how significant this study is at this time.”


* Abstract title: ‘Occupational exposure to disinfectants and COPD incidence in US nurses: a prospective cohort study’ by Dr Orianne Dumas et al.  This is a conference talk that will be discussed at the European Respiratory Society congress on Sunday 10 September 2017.  There is no paper as this is not published work.


Declared interests

Dr Sheena Cruickshank: “No conflicts of interest.”

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