Air Freshener might kill you!

I never liked those those machines which they put up in rooms, elevators, restrooms and which spray, on regular intervals some kind of perfume into the room. I always thought it might not be good for health to inhale synthetic substances, even if it has a pleasant fragrance.

One day, they installed several of these pffft-machines in the office and I started to research the matter on the Internet. What I read was even worse than what I already had suspected:

  • Many of the air freshening liquids contain toxic chemicals such as phthalate esters (check this out on Google!). This chemical can aggravate asthma, affect reproductive development and possibly cause cancer.
  • Other substances include chloromethane, acetaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, all carcinogen.
  • Organic solvents are used, such as acetone, benzene, 2-butoxyethanol and other glycol ethers. Similar substances like sniffing glue or paint for “recreational” purposes.
One of the deceptive ways how those air fresheners are deployed.
One of the deceptive ways how those air fresheners are deployed.

While we cannot be sure how dangerous these substances are, they certainly not healthy. Unfortunately, it is impossible to know or find out what is contained in these fresheners. The manufacturers do not provide a list of ingredient, even less technical data sheets. There may be a reason for it.

And it is even worse: Some of the substances used are actually not doing anything against the smell they are supposed to fend off, but they make the nerves in the nose insensitive to any smell. This is supposedly only temporary, but who can assert us that this is not permanent? Imagine, in a few years, you may not be able to enjoy the aroma of fine wine, the (true) fresh smell in a forest or smell danger if something is burning in the house.

I think, these are enough arguments to avoid or remove those air fresheners. Not only those that spray a mist, but also those on the dashboard in the car or those in the children’s room. Assume that they are dangerous unless proven safe. If smell is a real problem, there are other and better methods to apply, such as charcoal filters, – or just opening the window and let some fresh air in.