There are a variety of air freshners in the Nigerian market today. From solid, aerosol and plug-in varieties, it isn’t rare to find one in office, cars or homes. However, have you ever wondered the safety of these products? Expert, repeatedly warn against using many types of air fresheners, citing a list of pollutants that can threaten ones health but are they right? Here are things you may not have known about air freshners…
-Air freshners contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other chemicals that may be hazardous to the health of people.
– Air fresheners only mask odours 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.
-Most air fresheners contain chemicals (phthalates) that may affect hormones and reproductive development, particularly in babies.
-The phthalates in the air fresheners may be inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
-A 2006 study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that many air fresheners and household cleansers emit chemicals known to be toxic pollutants or to cause cancer. When used heavily, repeatedly, or in poorly ventilated spaces, the substances can reach levels dangerous to people and pets.
-Known toxic chemicals that can be found in air fresheners include camphor, phenol, ethanol, formaldehyde, and artificial fragrances (which contain their own mix of toxic chemicals). These chemicals 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.
-Products that tested positive for phthalates included ones marketed as “all-natural” and “unscented.” None had phthalates in the list of ingredients or anywhere else on the label.
If you choose to use air fresheners, make sure the area is well-ventilated, avoid treating spaces frequented by children and always follow directions.