Why Common Air Fresheners May Not Be Good For Your Health

By Amy Taylor on November 18, 2011

When you walk into the room which has a very pleasant and inviting smell of jasmine and lavender, you feel like you’re in a beautiful garden.  Air fresheners have been significant household accessories.  They play a vital role in keeping your mood as good as possible by releasing sweet-smelling fumes.  In the UK, most households make use of air fresheners. These are usually placed in the living room, dining area, bathroom, bedroom, and almost all areas in the house.

Nonetheless, studies show that constant exposure to air fresheners can trigger asthma, allergies, and some other health problems.  This is according to the newest research conducted by the scientists from the University of Emory in Atlanta and the Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Clinic. The researchers gathered several studies and analyzed their results. They found that the lung function of people with asthma changes as they get exposed to these fresheners.

Air Fresheners Don’t Actually Clean the Air

When a room has pristine smell of freshness, it doesn’t mean it’s clean.  Air fresheners don’t help clean the air in any way.  They just cover up the foul odour by using strong chemicals that release fragrance.  While these products can provide instant ‘clean’ and scented ambiance, using them for a long period of time can cause several medical conditions which you don’t want to happen to any of your family member.

Another study made by the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) in the US and published in year 2007 revealed that most of the air fresheners out in the shelves today contain phthalates and other harmful chemicals that can lead to various respiratory diseases, irritation, leukemia, and bone damage.

Natural Ways to Freshen the Air

There are plenty of ways that you can do to make your room smell fresh and clean without having to sacrifice your health.

  • Trash the garbage. By removing the things that cause bad odour, you are making your room more conducive and fresh-smelling. Take away the spoiled food, musty towels and rags, garbage, animal compost, and all other wastes. They don’t just produce bad smell; they are also a source of bacteria and germs.
  • Maintain proper ventilation. It’s not a good idea to keep the windows and doors always closed.  Allow the foul odour to move out and the fresh air to come in by opening the windows.
  • Baking sodas absorb bad odour. Place a small container full of baking soda in the fridge and leave it uncovered for several days.  After a week or two, you can replace it.  Continue the same to keep the foul smell away from your house.
  • Vinegar neutralizes odour. Mix vinegar with water and baking soda.  Using a spray bottle, you can neutralize the bad smell in your house.  You can spray it in the kitchen, on the carpet which has pet odour; or you can leave a container of vinegar uncovered over night.
  • Essential oil and water. Water mixed with essential oils can be a good air freshener.  You can spray it in your room or anywhere in the house. But, you may need to consult a professional therapist to avoid the possibility of developing allergies.
  • Make your own air freshener! Mix 2 quarts of clean water with 2 tablespoons of vinegar in a medium-sized saucepan. Then, bring the mixture to a boil. Then, adjust the heat to bring it down to simmer and add one or a combination of the following to achieve the desired smell:

-          one to 2 bunches of lilac

-          2 cinnamon sticks, 2 pine tree sprigs and 3 pine cones

-          2 sliced lemons, 1 tbsp. natural vanilla extract

-          2 diced apples, 2 tbsp. of cinnamon, 2 tsp of natural almond extract

-          2 sliced oranges, 1 tbsp. of natural vanilla extract and 1 tbsp. of cinnamon

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