Personal Care and Household Cleaning Product Use among Pregnant Women and New Mothers during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Andrea L. Deierlein, Alexis R. Grayon, Xiaotong Zhu, Yanwen Sun, Xun Liu, Kaelyn Kohlasch, Cheryl R. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined product use among pregnant women and new mothers in New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic (July 2020–June 2021). Women reported use of personal care and household cleaning products within the previous month, changes in antibacterial product use, receipt of healthcare provider advice, and opinions on environmental chemicals (n = 320). On average, women used 15 personal care products and 7 household cleaning products. Non-Hispanic Black women used nearly two more personal care products; non-Hispanic Black women, those with a college degree, and essential workers used 1–3 more household cleaning products. Compared to non-Hispanic White women, those who were Hispanic or reported their race and ethnicity as Other were two times more likely to use antibacterial personal care products. Non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, and women who reported their race and ethnicity as Other were 1.5 times more likely to increase antibacterial product use during the pandemic. Nearly all women agreed that environmental chemicals pose health risks and are impossible to avoid, while less than one quarter received advice regarding product use. Product use is a modifiable source of chemical exposures. Results from this study suggest that women may have increased their product use during the pandemic. Healthcare providers may use the current focus on health hygiene to promote discussion and assessment of environmental chemical exposures with patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5645
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • COVID-19
  • environmental chemicals
  • household cleaning products
  • personal care products
  • Pandemics
  • Humans
  • Mothers
  • Pregnancy
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • COVID-19/epidemiology
  • Pregnant Women
  • Cosmetics
  • Female

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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