The use of chemical air fresheners either in our cars, home or exposure to them at the office, restaurants, health clubs or any other indoor location may be causing long-term health damage to our lungs which may not even be noticeable in the short-term. Headaches, earaches, depression, an irregular heart beat, and diarrhea are just a few of many health challenges that have been linked to regular use of synthetic air fresheners. Indoor air quality is a serious pollution threat and all artificially scented products and fragrances, regardless of the type are major contributors to the problem.
We spend 90 percent of our time indoors, but have you ever thought about the purity of the air that you are breathing as you sit inside?
Indoor air quality is considered to be the fourth greatest pollution threat to Americans by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Even if you can never see, and can't always smell, the chemicals inside your home, they are there. It comes from cleaning products, drycleaning chemicals, plastic products like computer keyboards, furniture, paint, carpeting and more. However, air fresheners are one of the biggest sources of voluntary pollution we place on ourselves.
A report that was released in September of 2007 by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that 12 of 14 brands of common household air fresheners contained phthalates . Phthalates are chemicals that are used to prolong the length of time that scented products maintain their fragrance. Regular exposure to phthalates can increase your risk of experiencing endocrine, reproductive, and developmental problems. Amazingly, some of the brands that tested positive for phthalates did not include phthalates on their lists of ingredients; some of these brands were even labeled as being "all-natural" and "unscented." Other often contain napthelene and formaldehyde.
Most air fresheners mask odors with a synthetic fragrance or numb your sense of smell with chemical anesthetics. But, they do nothing to eliminate the source of the odor. Also, aerosol air fresheners spew out tiny droplets of chemicals that are easily inhaled into the lungs.