A prospective study was conducted in order to describe the incidence of eye symptoms, nose or throat symptoms, asthma and bronchitis among cleaners compared with former cleaners and according to the 'use of sprayers'. In 1989 and in 1991 questionnaire-based studies were conducted among female cleaners employed at Danish nursing homes, schools and offices. A cohort of 1,011 females was followed over two years. At baseline in 1989, the average age was 45 years and the average of seniority was 10 years. Overall, the cleaners tended to have the same or higher risk of developing respiratory symptoms compared to former cleaners. The 'use of sprayers' during the follow-up period was associated with an increased risk of eye and respiratory symptoms.