In the middle of winter when you’ve been cooped up inside, air fresheners seem like a great way to add “freshness” to the air. Whether it’s coming from an aerosol can, plug-in, scented candle or gel, these products all carry the same thing – chemicals that have the potential to cause hormone disruption and respiratory issues. There are over 100 chemicals in air fresheners and the most toxic include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes, which are linked to various cancers.
Clean doesn’t have a smell, but if scent is important to you, the best option is a reed diffuser, though essential oils work well too. Just read the ingredient list first.
The Environmental Working Group is a Washington-based nonprofit that focuses on research and advocacy, and ‘grades’ everything from make-up to sunscreens to household products. If you’re wondering about the toxicity of a product you use, check out their website.