There are different kinds of Air Fresheners available in the market, from air and fabric sprays to plug in “burners” to solids. Contrary to popular belief, these air fresheners do not neutralize the foul odor. Instead, they create havoc to one’s home’s air quality.
What does an Air Freshener contain?
According to the EPA1, air freshener contains four basic ingredients: formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, aerosol propellants and p-dichlorobenzene.
Formaldehyde can cause a number of ill health effects including:
- Watery eyes,
- Burning eyes, nose and throat,
- Difficulty in breathing,
- Nausea and
- Asthma attacks.
Petroleum distillates come from petrochemical manufacturing, which contributes to air, soil, and groundwater pollution. The effects on human health include:
- Respiratory problems,
- Chemical pneumonia and
- Pulmonary damage.
Aerosol propellants can harm earth’s ozone layer. Likewise, they can damage human health including:
- Increased cancer risk,
- Breathing problems and
- Development of chronic health issues.
Paradichlorobenzene (p-DCB) is often found in mothballs and may cause:
- Skin lesions,
- Liver damage,
- Loss of appetite and
- Changes to the blood.
Of course, air fresheners also contain fragrance, often in the form of perfumed chemicals.
Indoor Air Quality
Your home’s air quality is quite ironic, that something designed to “improve” indoor air quality by making it smell better actually winds up making your home more toxic. Studies show that use of air fresheners in the home can trigger asthma and allergies, along with other breathing problems. Because your home is a relatively closed space, adding elements that diminish air quality can harm your family and contribute to the toxic brew of chemicals that wind up trapped in your system. Air fresheners can also harm pets, which have a faster metabolism.
That being said, I’m sure you as an individual are going to make a well informed choice regarding the products for your home.