Q & A - Is Air Freshener Toxic?

Advertisers have done a great job convincing you that your your house isn’t clean unless it smells like an ocean breeze. But advertisers are lying. Clean has no smell.

Air fresheners also don’t clean your air. And they don’t remove odors. But, they can damage your health. Here are 4 reasons why air fresheners are toxic.

1. They have lots of secret ingredients.
There are a possible 3,000 chemicals used to make air fresheners. Each “fragrance” used in them is usually a mixture of several dozen to several hundred chemicals. And less than 10% of the ingredients in air fresheners are disclosed on the labels.

2. Many of the secret ingredients are toxic.
Air fresheners emit an average of 19 different VOCs per product. 25% of them are known to be toxic. Using air fresheners is strongly associated with high indoor levels of acrolein, acetaldehyde, benzene, ethyl benzene, formaldehyde, phthalates and toluene.

Of the 11 common chemicals released from air fresheners, 7 cause cancer, 6 are toxic to your respiratory system, 2 are toxic to your reproductive system and 2 are toxic to your cardiovascular system. Phthalates are notorious endocrine disrupting chemicals.

3. They pollute your indoor air.
Besides the VOCs emitted directly from air fresheners, some react with your homes air to create even more air pollutants, called secondary pollutants. Common fragrance chemicals like limonene and linalool react with ozone to create carcinogens like formaldehyde.

They also react with ozone to create small, easily inhalable particles. In fact, air fresheners exceed the EPA guidelines for small particle exposure.

4. You Inhale The Toxic chemicals
Toxic chemicals and particles from air fresheners enter your body when you breath. This route bypasses your liver, your body’s detox organ. So inhaled toxins move through your body unchanged. This results in a direct insult to your cardiovascular system and other organs distant from your lungs.

Learn more about your exposure to the toxic chemicals in air fresheners and other scented products by clicking on the links below.

How To Improve Your Indoor Air