Why Your Fresh Air Isn’t So Fresh
At what cost are you keeping your home smelling fresh? According to scientists at Emory University and Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic, it’s a hefty cost. But the cost is not necessarily financial. Scientists have found that scented candles and air fresheners are wreaking havoc on our bodies, contributing to a host of ailments from headaches, high pulse rate, asthma and nausea; to mention a few.
The source of your headache may not the long hours in front of the computer, hormones or stress. The pain you are feeling in your head could be caused by air fresheners. A whiff of Febreze spray, Air Wick plugin, Glade car vent clip or Yankee Candle can stimulate the nervous system and activate nerve cells in your brain. The chemical stewpot of air fresheners can threaten your health.
So, before you light another candle, find out why your car and house may home to nearly 100 dangerous toxins.
The Freshener Toxins
Unfortunately, you’re not just battling one dangerous toxin when you use an air freshener, but many. A variety of studies in the past decade have revealed that most fresheners are a chemical cocktail posing danger to everyone who breathes it in. In fact, homes where air fresheners are used have a higher risk of occupants being diagnosed with asthma, cancers and allergies.
While nearly every VOC (volatile organic compound) used poses some risk, there are a few top contenders.
A study in 2007, by the Natural Resources Defense Council, found that 12 out of the 14 top brands of air fresheners contained phthalates. This chemical is used to help scented items smell good longer. However, Dr. Ben Kim explains, “Regular exposure to phthalates can increase your risk of experiencing endocrine, reproductive, and developmental problems.” This chemical is linked to low semen quality, low testosterone levels, and even birth defects.
This toxic chemical has long been known to cause health problems, ranging from watery eyes to nausea and asthma attacks. In June of 2011, the National Toxicology Program deemed it a known human carcinogen. Derivatives of it are used to manufacture cars and their accompanying parts; it’s also used in the textile industry and most air freshener products.
According to Earth Kind, the term “propellants” can be referring to a number of VOCs including butane, isobutene or propane. All three of the chemicals pose a risk to your brain and nervous system, and under normal circumstances, it’s common sense not to breathe them in. When used for grills, we keep it outside because it’s dangerous to have in the house. Yet many of us are unknowingly using all three to freshen our air.
That’s not all. There are over