My kind of air freshener:
- Air fresheners almost never “freshen” the air. They just mask odors, either with synthetic fragrance or by interfering with your ability to smell by coating your nasal passages with an oil film or releasing a nerve-deadening agent. In rare cases, they will actually break down the offensive odor.
- Known toxic chemicals that can be found in air fresheners include camphor, phenol, ethanol, formaldehyde, and artificial fragrances can cause symptoms like headaches, rashes, dizziness, migraines, asthma attacks, mental confusion, coughing and more. Some of the substances in air fresheners are linked to cancer or hormone disruption.
- A study published on July 10, 2010, in Environmental Health found that women who used more household cleaning products, including air fresheners and mold removers, had a 2x higher risk of breast cancer.
- Many aerosol air fresheners contain toxic phthalates, which have been linked to birth defects and reproductive harm.
I’m a huge advocate of green living, recycling, natural cleaning and non-toxic skincare products, and share a lot of information I wish every parent would know on my Healthy Living page.
I’m honored to be part of the Healthy Child, Healthy World blogger network, a nonprofit that educates parents to protect children from harmful chemicals. And sadly, it looks like a lot more education is necessary.
I’m always astounded by the reaction I get when I tweet about the danger of commercial “air fresheners”, candles and plug-in units, and how many people write back that they had no idea air fresheners are so toxic.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the global sales of air fresheners are on the rise: “Though a seemingly optional purchase for cash-strapped consumers, Febreze sold well in the U.S., Europe and Japan during the global economic slowdown, helping it become the 24th Procter & Gamble Co. brand to reach $1 billion in annual sales.”
With a growing body of evidence linking everyday environmental contaminants to asthma, learning disabilities, obesity, cancer and more, Healthy Child’s translates the science and empowers parents and caregivers to create healthy environments. I will periodically share their important information with you on Dagmar’s momsense.
Fight for cleaner air for your children: Moms Clean Air Force
Politicians in Congress are trying to gut the Clean Air Act and dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency — erasing decades of progress towards reducing pollution and protecting human and environmental health.
In response, the Environmental Defense Fund has launched a movement: Moms Clean Air Force.
They’re asking moms and dads to join together and come out in strength for our kids’ right to clean air — just as our parents fought for us, 40 years ago, when the Clean Air Act was first passed. What’s at stake is nothing less than the health of future generations.
This is how you can join the movement:
- Share facts from the Clean Air Cheat Sheet.
- Write a letter to the EPA. Mail it and share it on your blog to encourage others to write one, as well. Here are tips.
- Share a personal story about polluted air or its health impacts on your blog. (Moms Clean Air Force is collecting them and will share them with Congress.)
- Write a story about what the future would look like either with or without these important protections in place (is it a world you want your child living in?)
- Post a picture of a local polluter – maybe with you or your child standing in front holding a sign saying “I need clean air.”
I guess the advertising of air fresheners makes it sound like everyone just has to have a house that smells of “ocean breeze.” Why are so many people buying into that — we are much smarter than that!
Air “fresheners” do not freshen air. Your family’s health and our environment (and your pocketbook!) are much better off if you don’t buy commercial air fresheners and instead buy indoor plants and open the windows to let fresh air in.