Now, there are so many different air fresheners out there. The puff, they spray, they glow, they do so many things except add to your health. In fact, they are quite toxic! Now, I love my home to smell good but I do not use commercial air fresheners. In fact, I make my own and it takes about a minute! I'll tell you all about freshening up your home the natural way but I first want to talk about why commercial air fresheners are harmful.
A recent study by the NRDC (National Resource Defence Council) stated that 12 out of 14 tested air fresheners contained phthalates. These chemicals are known hormone disruptors. The phthalate compounds can cause reduced sperm counts, cause structural abnormalities in the male reproductive system, and some studies even suggest that they might cause cancer. Especially sensitive to these chemicals are unborn babies and young children. The government of California even stated that five types of phthalates (including those in air fresheners) are known to cause birth defects or reproductive problems. Another shout out to all you Moms and moms-to-be out there! An article by Care2 noted a study that found mothers who lived in homes with daily air fresheners had a 26% increased risk of depression. If they can make their effects known at the endocrine level, what can they do at the respiratory level (or any other level for that matter). Breathing these chemicals into our lungs can cause great harm, including asthma. Our Canadian government has even asked employers to not use them in the work place as they can trigger an asthma attack.
The scary part about these products is that the government does not set safety standards for them and that means there is virtually no testing. Yikes! And if you think you will just check the label, think again! They do not have to list it in the ingredients. So, you really do not know what you are spraying, breathing, or absorbing in your home.
This $200 million dollar industry needs to have some standards. It's crazy that they can get their product on the shelves but it can take years to approve a natural supplement that comes from a plant. Something is definitely wrong here.
Please keep these boogy monsters out of your home and freshen it up naturally!
- Open doors and windows- This is the easiest option and the best way to get rid of odors (in my opinion). I know this may not be an option in the winter where you live so take advantage of it in the summer.
- Vinegar- Place bowls of vinegar in the area where there is an odor or boil 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon on vinegar (if the odor is in the kitchen)
- Baking Soda- This is a great thing for your fridge or freezer. Just buy a box and leave it open in the fridge/freezer. Replace every couple of months.
- Essential Oils - Heat these up and they can make the room smell delish!
Now, my favorite and best defence for household odors is to boil some citrus peels (from one orange, grapefruit, or lemon) with various herbs such as cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, or ginger. I add about a teaspoon of each.
The wonderful smell lasts a long time and its super cheap to make. So, next time something makes your nose crinkle and your hand wave rapidly in front of you, try a more natural approach . You will be breathing easy once again and your house will smell good enough to eat!