The Lowdown on… Toxins in Air Fresheners

I don’t know about you, but I get very tired of seeing all the commercials on television pushing us to artificially “perfume” our indoor air. Indoor air is actually full of pollutants. But…if we use natural products in our homes and open the windows for ventilation when possible, the danger is greatly lessened. We don’t need plug-ins (using elecricity), sprays or stick-ons and we certainly don’t need the toxins they all contain. If you occasionally need to cover up some odours or want to add a pleasant scent, buy only 100% natural sprays.

The following information is from the U.S. Natural Resources Defense Council.

What you should know about common air fresheners

Air fresheners are a staple in many homes and offices, marketed with the promise of creating a clean, healthy and sweet-smelling indoor atmosphere. The U.S. Natural Resources Defence Council tested 14 commonly-available air fresheners and found that many of these products contain phthalates (pronounced thal-ates) — hazardous chemicals known to cause hormonal abnormalities, birth defects and reproductive problems. To protect consumers, government action to conduct more thorough tests and enact basic measures to limit exposure to phthalates is urgently needed.

That “fresh scent” of air fresheners may mask a health threat — NRDC’s independent testing discovered phthalates in 86 percent (12 of 14) of air freshener products tested, including those marketed as “all-natural” or “unscented”—and none of the products we tested listed phthalates on their labels.

Phthalates are versatile chemicals, used as solvents in perfumes and fragrances, as softeners in plastics, as anti-foam agents in aerosols, and as sealants and adhesives. Given their many uses, phthalates are found in a wide array of consumer products, including cosmetics and fragrances, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, vinyl children’s toys, automobiles, paints, and interior finishes. Phthalates are used in air fresheners to dissolve and carry the smell of fragrances. When people use air fresheners, the phthalates are released into the air. They may then be inhaled, or the aerosol particles may land on the skin and be absorbed. Once these chemicals enter the bloodstream, they can alter hormone levels and cause other health problems.

Source: U.S. Natural Resources Defense Council
To download a copy of the full report go to Hazards of common air fresheners

Visit Smallbones Natural Soaps section for 100% natural soaps and gift sets. Update October, 2018: I’ve retired my shop and myself!

lavender gift set

2 Replies to “The Lowdown on… Toxins in Air Fresheners”

  1. I hold my breath when I walk through the perfume section in stores. I am a fresh air person also, thanks for the article.

    1. Yes, Cheryl. I can’t even walk into some gift stores due to the ‘scented’ candles, potpouris, etc. And fabric stores are the same; I don’t know what it is on fabrics, but it’s some chemical that I hate!

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