Parliament to debate cleaning products 'as harmful as 20 cigarettes a day' thanks to former Northampton MP

Sally Keeble's campaign to make cleaning products carry more explicit health warnings is to reach the House of Commons floor today.
Sally Keeble's campaign to make cleaning products carry more explicit health warnings is to reach the House of Commons floor today.

A finding that health products could be as damaging as smoking 20 cigarettes a day is to be discussed in Parliament today thanks to a campaign by a former Northampton MP.

Earlier this year scientists in Bergen, Norway, released a report stating that women who used cleaning products had an "accelerated" decline in lung capacity.

Scientists there tested 6,235 women's and men's lungs over 20 years in order to draw up the report.

In February, Northampton North parliamentary candidate for Labour, Sally Keeble, launched a petition calling for products in the UK to be labelled with clearer health warnings.

And today the campaign is set to be heard on the House of Commons floor.

Helen Hayes, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, is set to table an early day motion calling for the Government to take action.

It reads: "That this House... further notes the occupational health risks faced by people who work as cleaners; expresses dissatisfaction at the current regulation of cleaning products and calls on the government to bring forward proposals for labelling of cleaning products to warn of the health risks, to work with the industry to make such products as safe as possible and to bring forward regulations to minimise health risks."

The motion already has the support of 17 MPs, including two for the Scottish National Party (SNP).

Mrs Keeble is hoping the debate will mark a first step towards a change in legislation.

She said: “This is a health risk to women that needs much more attention.

"These products are widely used by women in the home and by many women who work as industrial cleaners.

“It is excellent that MPs are now drawing it to the Government’s attention and calling for action to protect women’s health.”

The motion is expected to be tabled today.