Many of us like to make our home cozy by spraying it with pleasant fragrances. Sudden puff of pumpkin is a definite mood changer. However, later you might pay for that immediate reward with your health.
As you know, there is a huge range of chemical products that are doing their job well but harm you in the process. Turns out, cleaners, sanitizers and thermal paper are complemented by air fresheners. Recent studies show that they contain toxic chemicals.
Ranging from sprays, incense sticks or candles, air freshener manufacturing is a huge industry with humongous sales. In the US only 1 family out of 4 doesn’t use these products.
As in any global industry there always are studies that counter all the criticism towards the product. Nevertheless, it is certain that a degree of dangerous chemicals is present in air fresheners. The only debate is about whether this portion is safe.
Researchers say that damage depends on the amount of exposure. You may not observe any immediate symptoms but the harm is still being done gradually as the chemicals build up in your fatty tissues.
Among the dangerous compounds found in air fresheners is dichlorobenzene. It is a registered pesticide, considered to be the main cause of instant pet bird mortality after the use of the products in proximity. Of course, the producers have conducted their own scientific investigations that elevate the industry above suspicion. But dichlorobenzene is found in blood of almost entire US population. It has been proved to damage lungs, cause asthma and cancer.
Further down the list is Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Symptoms of high exposure include nasal, ocular and respiratory irritation. It has been proven that air fresheners, backed up by several other types of cleaning products, can dramatically increase your intoxication with this compound. The only good news here is that this chemical is easily measurable. If you’d like to make sure that you are not harmed by any household chemicals containing it, testing devices can easily be bought and applied.
Phthalates are yet another dangerous ingredient. They are causing liver cancer and are never marked in the product label.
While air fresheners are considered relatively safe for general population, there is no debate about harm to the people with respiratory issues. Any air freshening product is irritating your airways. Be it seasonal allergies or even cold, it will add to that problem.
Children, whose immune system is different from adult, are even more exposed to the side effects of air fresheners. With smaller lungs and hyperventilation due to high activity they are 30 times more susceptible to the dangerous compounds.
In the end, all health concerns aside, there is no real point to freshening the air. Spray will only disguise a frowzy room without removing the cause or killing any infection. The best thing you can do is ventilating the house. Try increasing air circulation in general. And if you miss the nice smell, it can be produced with natural sources. Just make a fresh cup of coffee or cut up a grapefruit.
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