Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Commercial air freshening products pollute indoor air

Scented candles may release
harmful chemicals.
Air fresheners come in many varieties, including aerosols, gels and scented candles.

While global sales of air fresheners are rising steadily, experts warn that many air-care products cause a false sense of freshness.

Instead of purifying the air, many air fresheners simply mask the odors with synthetic fragrances. Others may affect your ability to smell by coating your nasal passages with an oil film or by releasing a nerve-deadening agent, according to an article by the Healthy Child organization.

Certain air fresheners contain toxic chemicals that can affect human health and cause symptoms such as headaches, coughing, sneezing, rashes, dizziness and asthma attacks.

Some of the substances that can cause a reaction are camphor, phenol, ethanol and formaldehyde.
Some chemicals found in air fresheners have been linked to cancer or hormone disruption.

Many aerosol air fresheners contain toxic phthalates, which have been linked to birth defects and reproductive harm.

Reduce your exposure to toxins by following these recommendations:
  1. Read labels and avoid air fresheners that contain “fragrance” since they can include phthalates.
  2. Test before you buy. Often, a reaction may be immediate.
  3. Try natural ways to provide your indoor environment with fresh air. Open your windows, grow a few indoor plants such as Peace Lily, Boston Fern, Gerbera Daisy and Bamboo Palm, which have been shown to absorb small amounts of airborne pollutants, opt for non-toxic products such as baking soda, white vinegar and essential oils
  4. Remove many airborne chemicals, gases, odors and particles with an air purifier that features granular activated carbon and HEPA filters.
Source: Healthy Child,

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