Do Air Fresheners Cause More Harm Than Good?

These phthalates, linked to reproductive problems

Nobody likes their house to smell and one of the most common ways to get rid of it is using air fresheners. However, what most people don’t understand is that air fresheners don’t actually clean or purify the air. What they do is disperse many fragrance chemicals into the air to mask the smell. The problem with this is that these chemicals, known as volatile organic compounds are much more harmful to you than the smell you were trying to get rid of in the first place.

There have been hundreds of different allergens and chemicals found in air fresheners. Some of these chemicals include formaldehyde, benzene, and aerosol propellants such as propane and butane. Although these chemicals can cause a number of health problems, including respiratory diseases, the one responsible for most damage are phthalates. These phthalates, linked to reproductive problems, hormonal abnormalities, birth defects, and cancer, not only miss from most air freshener labels but also are found in air fresheners that claim to be natural and eco-friendly.

“Phthalates are hormone-disrupting chemicals that can particularly be dangerous for young children and unborn babies. Exposure to phthalates can affect testosterone levels and lead to reproductive abnormalities, including abnormal genitalia and reduced sperm production. The State of California notes that five types of phthalates, including one that we found in air freshener products, are ‘known to cause birth defects or reproductive harm.'”

It can be as simple as some scrubbing and cleaning

So, how do you get rid of that bad smell without spraying tons of harmful toxins in the air? First, you want to identify where the smell is coming from and why it smells. That in itself can be a health problem also. Once you’ve identified the source of the odor, take the proper precautions and get rid of it. It can be as simple as some scrubbing and cleaning, or you there may be a dead animal stuck somewhere in your home. Either way, air fresheners only mask the smell for a temporary time. Getting rid of the source of the odor is the safest and most reliable way fight bad smell.

Now that you’ve gotten rid of the odor, you can follow different natural ways to making your home smell great. Here are some tips on how to get that amazing air freshener smell without using any toxins.

Oranges and Cinnamon in Hot Water

The title says it all. Add some freshly sliced oranges with some cinnamon sticks in water and heat it up on the stove. When the water is simmering lightly, turn the stove off and let the aroma fill your home.

Lemon and Rosemary 

You can use an old Mason jar, or even wash out a used one and fill it with lemon, rosemary, vanilla extract, and some water. You can just let it sit and your room will be smelling fresh in no time.

Lavender and Rosemary Carpet Freshener

For an all-natural carpet powder that will have your home smelling fresh, you’ll need some baking soda, lavender oil, and dried rosemary. Mix these ingredients together and sprinkle on your carpet. After about 15-20 minutes, you can vacuum the mixture up, but the wonderful aroma stays.

Cranberry-Orange Potpourri

If you like that Christmas scent, then you’ll love this. Bring a pot of water to a light simmer and then add cranberries, orange slices, nutmeg, vanilla, rosemary, and cinnamon. Turn the oven off after a few minutes and enjoy the smell of Christmas any time of the year.

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