What’s all the stink about synthetic air fresheners? Learn about the hidden toxins in household air fresheners and discover 8 natural ways to make your house smell fresh and clean.
Reasons to avoid synthetic air fresheners:
Many conventional (a.k.a. synthetic) air fresheners smell good, but they are actually filling your home with toxic and hazardous chemicals. On the one hand, your home smells great, but on the other hand, you are exposing your family to chemicals that may cause health concerns like:
- Hormone disruption
- Changing DNA
Chemicals to watch for in synthetic air fresheners:
Pthalates – Phthalates are a diverse group of chemicals that bind the fragrance to the product itself. They also make plastic more flexible and have been used extensively in toys, vinyl flooring, detergents, food packaging and some cosmetic and personal care products.
Because they have been used so frequently, phthalates have been studied extensively for safety. While not all phthalates are harmful, certain types have been associated with disrupting the way hormones function, premature births and even cancer.
Fragrance – Consumers can’t rely on labels that contain the word “fragrance” to know whether hazardous chemicals exist in that container. This is because the manufacturer has added any of 3,000 potential chemical ingredients commonly used to add a scent to their products. To make matters worse, the chemical concoction used to make “fragrance” are protected as trade secrets.
Fragrance secrecy is legal due to a giant loophole in the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973, which requires companies to list cosmetics ingredients on the product labels but explicitly exempts fragrance.
Paraffins – Most scented candles are made with paraffin, which is actually a petroleum byproduct. In 2009, a study by South Carolina State University found that burning paraffin wax candles gives off harmful fumes (toluene and benzene) which are linked to asthma and lung cancer.
The bottom line is: it’s not worth risking your health or your family’s health to make your house smell fresh. There are plenty of cleaner, safer and smarter ways to achieve a fresh smelling home.
What are some natural ways to add fragrance to your home?
- Pure essential oils – Essential oils are a wonderful way to naturally scent your home. You can use them in a variety of ways: mist diffusers, reed diffusers, ceramic diffusers with a candle, DIY air freshener spray, etc.
- Fresh flowers – You just can’t beat the smell of fresh flowers for the ultimate natural air freshener. Want to save money? Plant your own, so you can cut them in-season and always have a fresh scent any time you want.
- Non-toxic candles – The most natural candles are those made from soy wax or vegetable based wax, like palm wax.
- Fresh air – You just can’t beat the smell of fresh, clean outdoor air. Additionally, just cracking your windows for 10-15 minutes a day can dramatically increase your home’s indoor air quality.
- Stovetop simmer potpourri – Make your own stovetop potpourri from fruit peels, herbs, spices, etc. They are easy to make and smell great.
- Air purifying plants – You can soften your space and make it smell better just by adding a few air purifying plants. They will detoxify the air for you and give your home a healthy breath of fresh air.
- Charcoal air purifier – Activated charcoal actually works to remove VOCs, odors and pollutants from the air. You can start small by making your own activated charcoal sachet or go more high tech by purchasing a charcoal air purifier.
- Baking soda – You’ve probably heard of using baking soda to keep odors at bay in the refrigerator, but you can also use it in waste baskets, as air fresheners, and it works great in the car too. Check out this DIY “recipe.”
Whether you want to better indoor air quality or you are just working toward eliminating chemicals in your household and personal care products, be sure to check out our free download: The Ultimate Guide to Going Green. In it, you’ll learn:
- A quick start guide to going green
- The top seals and certifications you’ll want to look for
- What chemicals to avoid on product labels
- Common claims you’ll find on marketing material
- And more!
If you’re ready to take control of your health, protect the environment, and start a lifestyle change, this is the guide for you. Get your free download today!