Air Fresheners: Do You Really Know What You Are Spraying?
EPA finds indoor air more polluted than outdoor!Chances are you start your day with a shower, brush your teeth, add some cosmetics (hair care, lotion, perfume, gel, aftershave, etc.), grab a quick breakfast and head out the door. If this sounds like your morning routine, you could be using close to 100 toxic chemicals before you leave the house in the morning! Most brand-name competitor products contain at least one toxic chemical. This is true for food as much as it is for home care products. Corporations are selling consumers a cocktail of toxic chemicals found in tens of thousands of different products, none of which are effectively regulated by any government agency. Research performed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control found a majority of the American population are routinely exposed to at least five different phthalates. Phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates) are hormone-disrupting chemicals that may pose a particular health risk. These are chemicals that are used to prolong the length of time that scented products maintain their fragrance. Ever wonder how competitors produce a product like air freshener in the scent of Cool Mountain Breeze or Tropical Island? In fact, if you use air fresheners (plug-ins, fabric spray, aerosol cans, candles, anything to change the scent in a room) you are increasing your risk of developing asthma by 30 and up to 50 percent. Air fresheners are not a good solution for poor air quality and cannot substitute for good ventilation. Why?
“Many air fresheners contain nerve-deadening chemicals that coat your nasal passages and temporarily block your sense of smell,” according to National Geographic’s: The Green Guide.The Natural Resources Defense Council independently tested 14 common air fresheners, none of which listed phthalates as an ingredient on the bottle. The results found phthalate chemicals in 86 percent (12 out of 14) of the products tested, including products labeled as “all-natural” or “unscented”. The two products that had no detectable level of phthalates were Febreze Air Effects and Renuzit Subtle Effects. Phthalates are measured in parts per million (ppm). Of those 12 products mentioned above, three have levels of 360 ppm, 1100 ppm, and 7300 ppm! (Phthalates can also be found in cosmetics, fragrances, concrete, paint, clay, nail polish and lacquer manufacturing.) Beside phthalates, air fresheners have carcinogens and volatile organic compounds. Carcinogen is any substance that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer. Volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) cause nausea, headaches, asthma and most have been linked to cancer. Two types of VOC’s that are basic ingredients in air fresheners are benzene and formaldehyde! The vast majority of synthetic air fresheners release amounts of terpene. Once the terpene is released in the ozone the reaction creates formaldehyde. The NRDC explains, “Since ozone is a form of oxygen and exists at some level both indoors and out, formaldehyde formation is practically inevitable wherever air fresheners are used.” Inhaling an ingredient such as formaldehyde causes watery eyes, burning eye/nose/throat membranes, difficulty breathing, nausea and asthma attacks. Benzene is a compound in petroleum products and, according to the EPA, “inhaling petro-chemicals, dyes and perfumes can cause long-term health problems.” Health problems like chemical pneumonia, respiratory problems and pulmonary disease. Benzene has also been linked to cancer, especially leukemia.