It sometimes amazes me that so many people don't know how bad for your health air fresheners are. It is something that just makes sense to me. Even natural scents can affect people. I remember as a child sitting in church with my mother, and having her say, "That perfume is going to make me sneeze. Let's find a new seat." For my children it is a similar experience in every grocery store. As they put it, "Hold your nose and run past the cleaning and laundry aisles. That's where the smelly stuff is."
Air fresheners bring fresh scents into our houses and get rid of the bad smells.. right? Air fresheners can be be plugged into outlets to release their good frangrance continually. Air fresheners are safe to use around children and pets.
Are you ready to hear the truth?
Here are a few facts you may not have known before.
- Air fresheners do not freshen the air, nor do they remove odors. They only mask odors, by using a synthetic fragrance or by interfering with your ability to smell by coating your nasal passages with an oil film or releasing a nerve-deadening agent. In some rare cases, air freshening products will actually break down the offensive odor.
- Known toxic chemicals that can be found in air fresheners include camphor, phenol, ethanol, formaldehyde, and artificial fragrances can cause symptoms like headaches, rashes, dizziness, migraines, asthma attacks, mental confusion, coughing and more.
- Some of the substances in air fresheners are linked to cancer or hormone disruption. A study published on July 10, 2010, in Environmental Health found that women who used more household cleaning products, including air fresheners and mold removers, had a 2x higher risk of breast cancer.
- Many aerosol air fresheners contain toxic phthalates, which have been linked to birth defects and reproductive harm, as well as atypical behaviors in children.
Personally, they make me sneeze, swell up, give me a headache, and my throat closes off after prolonged exposure. My son, on the other hand, becomes violently angry for no reason. My other children react in similar ways. And we are not alone in our reactions.
There are better things that you can use to actually freshen the air around you, as well as to actually get rid of odors.
- open a window or two
- simmer some herbs on the stovetop
- salt lamps
- open the shades and let the sun shine in
- natural Masala method incense
Please feel free to add to my list in the comments!