Scented Air Fresheners – A Risk to Your Health!

The market is flooded with different types of scented air fresheners.  Some of them release scents constantly while others do so at particular times. These air fresheners come in either liquid or gel form and some of them release scents only when they are lit.

The air fresheners can used to either add a scent to your room or to mask unnecessary odors. But what most don’t know is that these air fresheners contain dangerous chemicals that can be detrimental to your health.

Birth Defects
A chemical called “phthalates” is present in some scented air fresheners. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, pregnant women may give birth to babies having birth defects if they are exposed to such chemicals. It alters the level of hormones, which in turn harms the fetus. It may also alter the hormone levels present in males which may lead to reproductive problems. Beware because phthalates is a chemical which is found in most of the air fresheners, and the danger of exposure is high. With time, dangerous levels can be build-up in the body.

Allergic Reactions
Many scented air fresheners contain substances known as the volatile organic compounds. Exposure to these substances can create an allergic reaction to those who have asthma or allergies. This in turn may cause chest pains, shortness and tightness of breath, and wheezing. However, extensive research is needed for the determination of complete health effects that may be caused by exposure to scented air fresheners.

Internal Damage
As stated by the Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia, many scented air fresheners work by numbing sensitivity of the nerves that helps in picking up the scents. Moreover, a lot of chemicals used in the scented air fresheners may cause kidney or liver damage, skin irritation, memory loss and carcinogens. Scented air fresheners merely mask smells and fail to actually freshen the air; therefore, it is best to avoid using them, particularly if your family members have medical conditions.

Gastrointestinal Symptoms
Individuals who are sensitive and hence allergic to smells might trigger a range of health related problems if they even a get low exposure to air fresheners. These include dizziness, headaches, diarrhea, confusion, depression, fatigue, nausea, anxiety and respiratory problems. They can have very severe or even mild reactions. Some of the products that are labeled “scent-free” may have chemicals that are used to mask the scent which can be even more dangerous for your health.

Everything that shines is not gold. Similarly, everything that appeals to us does not necessarily mean that they can be beneficial to our health. At times, we fail to realize the side effects things may have on our health and end up using them ignorantly.