Ask A Healer Green Living Series
Fresh smelling air at what cost?
by N J Howell
Natural Air Fresheners
This is part of the detoxing your home series here at the wellness library and covers air fresheners.
I have personally always hated air fresheners. In fact, I feel ill if I'm around them very long. When I see those commercials where the people are sniffing the carpet, car or couch because it has been sprayed with Febreze, it makes me nauseous.
On the other hand, my family loves Febreze and Carpet Fresh and Scented Lysol, etc.
Apparently, a lot of people actually like those chemical-laden smells. I see them standing at those display counters in Walmart too, sniffing the latest scented candle.
What those folks think smells fresh, I think smells absolutely toxic. OK, so people have different tastes. Is it just a matter of personal preference or are air fresheners actually harmful for the lungs? Are air fresheners safe or would you be better off exploring natural air fresheners to keep your home smelling clean?
Are Air Fresheners Safe? How Clean Is The Air That You Breathe?
Portions of this article, courtesy of Good Health Supplements, Creators of GHS Ultra for Cardiovascular Health, copyright, Ira Marxe
Are Air Fresheners Safe for your lungs? Ira says no ...... and I guess he should know since he knows that industry .... here's what Ira does at his own home:
"Having been in the chemical business for many years, we do not use air fresheners or deodorants in our house knowing the toxic effect inhaling these masking agents can have on your body.
We open windows and use exhaust fans instead.
To capture odors that may form in out refrigerator, we keep a cup of baking soda on the middle shelf. It's non-toxic and very effective.
Now our caution has been vindicated by a new study that found that a chemical compound called 1,4 DCB (1,4-dichlorobenzene) found in many common household deodorizing products such as air fresheners and toilet bowl cleaners, may harm lungs.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) studied blood samples and measured the lung function of 953 adults.
When the blood samples were tested for exposure to volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, 96 percent tested positive for the chemical 1,4 DCB.
Respiratory Health Concerns:
When they compared the lung function of those exposed to the chemical, they found a decrease in function that was tied to an increase in exposure. While the decrease was modest, it could have important implications in those who are vulnerable to respiratory problems, such as children.
The chemical 1,4 DCB has an odor similar to mothballs and is used in room deodorizers, odor blocks for toilet bowls and urinals, deodorants for diaper pails, and moth repellants.
"Because people spend so much time indoors where these products are used, it's important that we understand the effects that even low levels might have on the respiratory system," said researcher Leslie Elliott, Ph.D.
"Even a small reduction in lung function may indicate some harm to the lungs," said Stephanie London, M.D., the study's lead investigator. "The best way to protect yourself and especially children who may have asthma or other respiratory illnesses, is to reduce the use of products and materials that contain these compounds," she said.
Source: National Institute of Health
Are air fresheners safe?
Do your research. I'm certain there must be safer products than others. Find out what chemicals are in your air fresheners at home and, if indicated, switch to something a little less chemical-laden.
Breathe easy in your home by doing your homework on air fresheners before you expose your family to them.
Part Two: An Opposing View on Air Freshener Safety
Health Care Disclaimer: Although this health care article will be of specific interest to those with breathing disorders such as asthma and those with allergies, the wholistic health care information presented here is not a substitute for needed medical evaluation.
Any action taken based on the clean air information you have just read is at the sole discretion of the reader. Please consult with a respiratory specialist or allergy specialist on matters regarding breathing disorders you may have or suspect you have.