Artificial air fresheners are the new the ‘hot cakes’ on the glittery super market shelves, promising to turn your home into ‘garden of fragrance’. It is has become a regular accessory in shops, parlours, spas, mall, restaurants, etc. Before buying one for may house, I decided to check the facts. The results were enough to put me off my plans and now I advise everybody against their use.
In 2007, Nation Resources Defence Council of America concluded in a study that store bought air fresheners contain a chemical called phthalates, a plastic softener the prolongs the time product holds its fragrance. The study included premium brands like Airwick and glade. Regular exposure to the fragrance carrying this chemical may cause many developmental and reproductive problems, especially in kids. Headaches, earaches, irregular heartbeat, depression and diarrhoea in babies are some of the problems linked to the regular usage of synthetic room fresheners.
Many such fresheners (be it gel, aerosol, candles or plug-ins) do not list this chemical as an ingredient. In addition, fresheners also emit terpenes, chemicals derived from citrus oils, which react with ozone present in the air to produce formaldehyde, a chemical classified as human carcinogen (any substance that tends to cause cancer). They also affect respiratory system adversely and can aggravate asthmatic conditions, particularly if used indoors. Even air fresheners called "organic," "green," or with "essential oils" emit hazardous chemicals. The naphthalene or moth balls that we use while storing clothes, are also carcinogen and destroys red blood cells. Its vapours should not be inhaled and best kept away from kids. Clothes should also be washed and sun-dried before use.
So are there any alternatives - in fact many. I will try and list possible and easy to use homemade air fresheners in the next post