The good – and the bad – of air fresheners
Did you know that on the scale of good air vs. bad air, even indirect exposure to room air fresheners raises parallel concerns to “secondhand tobacco smoke”? the University of Melbourne’s Professor Anne Steinemann of  submits that connection.
But wait, there’s more!
Scented dryer sheets, impregnating bedding and clothing, are heavy duty scents that may precipitate asthma attacks, bronchitis, allergic reactions, and even exacerbate COPD problems. The reason is simple: scented products contain formaldehyde, a probable human carcinogen .
We are being assaulted from on high with ‘things’ that fall to earth and float in the air we must breathe. (Lung cancer is on the rise in non-smokers!) Yet we somehow believe that if we can make our home smell ‘nice’we’ll be happy, healthier and safer.
Never-ever-smokers now account for 13% of non-small cell lung cancers at the beginning of the study period and rose steadily to 28% by November 2014.
Why? well, we’ll have to wait for yet another study, or we can simply chuck every darn aromatic device we own now and take the chance at health without the research!
Let’s be honest. If we give up our need to ‘get it right’aromatically, we are always able to tell that tour noses, bronchi and lungs are warning us something smells chemically wrong.
Look at the list of chronic respiratory diseases on the rise:
- Chronic obstructive lung disease, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis, and emphysema
- Chronic rhinosinusitis
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
- Lung cancers and neoplasms of respiratory and intrathoracic organs
- Lung fibrosis
Professor. Steinemann concludes in her ärticle “Ten questions concerning air fresheners and indoor built environments,” (Elsevier Building and Environment, Vol. 111, January 2017, Pages 279-284,)
Air fresheners are used throughout society, often with the intent to create a favorable indoor environment. However, air fresheners may come with unintended and perhaps invisible risks.
This article looked at the science, health and policy dimensions of air fresheners, and offered research findings and directions on ways to improve the air quality indoors and reduce potential exposures to pollutants.
Some of Dr. Steinemann’s open source articles, which may help readers to understand the problems associated with scented product use include:
Effects of fragranced products on asthmatics in the USA: 64.3% of asthmatics report adverse health effects from exposure to fragranced products such as air fresheners and cleaning supplies https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11869-017-0536-2
Prevalence of multiple chemical sensitivities the United States: 25.9% of the general population report chemical sensitivity and 6.5% report medically diagnosed MCS, representing an increase of more than 200% and 300%, respectively, in the past decade
Fragranced consumer products and health effects in America: 34.7% report adverse health effects https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11869-016-0442-z
Air fresheners and indoor air quality: why air fresheners impair rather than improve air quality
Since the human body is about 60% water , we must look more closely at how all that’s going on in the world of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and technology advances will impact—and are impacting—humans’ ability to maintain optimal health.
Let’s be more conscious of the chemicals in the products we buy for our home, especially scented products, bug sprays and lawn chemicals.