Still using scented candles? Plug-In’s? Febreze? Millions are unwillingly being exposed to unwanted air fresheners laced with toxic, synthetic chemicals.
How many of you as you walk past the dreaded laundry soap isle in the grocery store instantly start to get an irritated throat or start coughing due to the overwhelming smell of toxic, synthetic cleaners??!
Our Nation is under siege by VOCs!
Many people are connecting the dots, recognizing that that air “fresheners” give those headaches, itchiness, and coughs. But what exactly are in air fresheners?
It’s not easy to find the answer to this question. Generally, air fresheners are made of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are synthetic chemicals that can float through the air. I tried hunting down the ingredients in Febreze Car Vent Clips, one of the most popular air fresheners used by Uber drivers. I was amazed to see that the three ingredients listed on the Febreze website are “odor blockers, odor eliminators, and fragrance.”
Ingredients listed on Febreze website.
What does that actually mean?! Clicking through the site leads to several dead-ends, but after searching the ingredients on this Procter & Gamble page, I found an alarming list of ingredients (1). Please note, this is only a single column of 19-page, double-column list!
Page 1(of 19), a single column of potential fragrance chemicals in Febreze air fresheners (1).
There are too many unpronounceable chemicals to investigate one-by-one. But we can probably agree that the sheer number of synthetic chemicals potentially found in air fresheners is scary. Let’s examine some of the most common air freshener ingredients.
Benzene, and Styrene, and Phthalates, Oh My!
A large study that analyzed 74 popular air fresheners (2) found that they contain over 350 chemical and allergenic VOC’s. VOC’s found in air fresheners include benzene, formaldehyde, styrene, and phthalates. Many of these VOC’s are known carcinogens that can damage your health and the health of your future children.
Benzene has been classified as a known carcinogen by the EPA, WHO, and other agencies (3). Benzene damages DNA and has been linked to human mutations. Similarly, formaldehyde is classified as a human carcinogen (4) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the National Toxicology Program. Alarmingly, epidemiological studies link chronic exposure to either benzene or formaldehyde to leukemia (5, 6).
Short-term exposure to styrene can induce nausea, impaired balance, and allergies. Several studies have shown that long-term styrene exposure adversely affects the Central Nervous System (CNS). Epidemiologic studies show that styrene workers had increased mortality or incidences of cancers like leukemia and lymphoma (7).
Many air fresheners contain phthalates, a group of man-made chemicals that disperse fragrances. People have been wary of phthalates since the 1990s because of their hormone-disrupting effects. While some phthalates have been banned from toys, phthalates are still used in many consumer products like plastic containers, cosmetics, fragrances, furniture, and air fresheners.
In 2007, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) tested 14 popular air fresheners that did not list phthalates as an ingredient (8). Several of these air fresheners were marketed as “unscented” or “all natural.” Yet, 12 of these 14 fresheners contained phthalates!
Twelve of 14 tested “all natural” air fresheners contain phthalates! (8)
Why does this hidden ingredient matter? When phthalates are released in the air, they can enter your bloodstream through skin contact and inhalation. These are small molecules that easily cross skin and lung barriers (9).
If you’ve coughed or felt itchy after spending time in a hired car like Uber with overpowering air freshener, you’re not alone. Phthalates have been shown to worsen allergic symptoms, especially asthma and eczema (10). One study found that men with high urinary levels of phthalates suffered from impaired lung function (11).
The effects of phthalates can go beyond short-term discomforts. Known hormone disruptors, phthalates are linked to reproductive and developmental toxicities (12). Phthalates can also mess with your thyroid.
One study found that phthalate exposure harmed men’s fertility. Men with high urine phthalate concentrations had low levels of reproductive hormones and high levels of DNA damage in sperm cells (13). Another study showed that phthalate exposure increased the risk of endometriosis in women (14). Further, women with higher phthalate levels had more pregnancy complications, including preeclampsia and spontaneous abortion (15). And yet another study showed that phthalates led to implantation failure during in vitro fertilization.
To recap: the VOCs found in air fresheners, especially formaldehyde, benzene, styrene, and phthalates, can harm your skin, lungs, hormones, and fertility. Unfortunately, most air fresheners will not list these ingredients.
Know better, do better: Ditch VOC’s
Thankfully, there are natural ways to aromatherapize a shared airspace.
Baking soda and charcoal are effective deodorizers. In our home, the car, and in our office, we diffuse essential oils. Essential oils subtly enhance both the scent of the space and the experience of being in it. Since cars, particularly new ones, are already a minefield of off-gassing chemicals (16), let’s not add insult to injury.
Meghan Budden learned this lesson the hard way when she kept two candles burning in her home for a few hours. She thought nothing of it – until the next day when she noticed black spots had appeared on the inside of her nose.
Even scarier is what she noticed next.
“I picked up the baby to feed him and noticed that the inside of his nostril – it was all black…”
This is all because of the soot these candles produce.
Is your health not your most precious commodity?
Let’s start building our immune system as oppose to suppressing it! Our children and our pets are worth it!
Let us help you create the most heavenly and toxin-free scents from pure essential oils!
- Are aromatic and oxygenating
- Are Immune Supporting
- Supports body’s natural defenses and body systems
- Are Mood Elevating
- Help Manage Stress
- Supports normal cellular function
- Improves mental clarity
- Improves Sleep
- Promotes vitality and longevity
After much research, we chose Young Living. It is a company that has been around for over 20 years and produces the highest quality essential oils (above organic) that met our standards with the “Seed to Seal Process“. They own their own farms around the world ~ we have visited and worked at one of them… amazing!!
Young Living uses organic farming methods to grow all of their plants. They weed by hand and use their own oils for pest control. The oils are distilled without chemicals ~ an AMAZING process. By using Young Living, we know that we are getting the purest oil in every bottle, not just a percentage of the oil and the rest is chemicals and additives (which is what you find on most shelves). Their essential oils are 100% pure, safe and highly effective.
DID YOU KNOW… in America, there just has to be 5% of of an essential oil in the bottle to be considered pure. The rest are synthetic materials. NOT with Young Living… you are just getting pure.
To take advantage of
March’s Wellness Promotion, Simply:
2. Choose the Premium Starter Kit with the Home Diffuser
3. Make sure that Sponsor and Enroller ID is filled out with: 1650088
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5. Send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can send you your FREE gifts!
With love from our family to yours,
Rod & Maria Wagner