SHOE SPRAYS can cause severe respiratory difficulties and other serious illnesses if used in an enclosed area without adequate ventilation, doctors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, warn. They report the case of a 44-year-old woman who used an aerosol shoe conditioner for five minutes in a poorly ventilated room. She developed a severe cough, shortness of breath, weakness, headache, burning eyes and throat and slurred speech.

In a second case, a man who sprayed his shoes with water and soil repellent developed a cough, breathlessness, dizziness and severe chills. Both patients needed emergency treatment, says a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.