On our travels a few years ago, we checked into this charming little hotel. As we walked down the hallway there was a very “perfumey” aroma. It took a while to realize that there was one of those air fresheners that you plug into the wall. It really was an overwhelmingly obnoxious aroma. I closed the door to the hallway and unpacked.
Before going to sleep, I put a few drops of Lavender essential oil into a diffuser. The next morning, the hotel manager said that one of the other guests complained about the aroma coming from my room. I was amazed at how people are so accustomed to synthetic aromas from the toxic air freshener rather than the natural plant aromas!
We Didn’t Always Question Air Freshener Marketing
I don’t know about you, but I was intrigued by and bought into the marketing that the big companies had (and still have) to entice us to bring a “fresh mountain spring” aroma into your home. As my awareness grew, I intuitively became repulsed by these smells.
Then, the reports surfaced and people began to realize that there are real health concerns that are associated with the synthetic aromas. My intuition was confirmed by scientific research.
The Problem With Synthetic Aromas
Our noses are bombarded with synthetic aromas as we walk down the aisle in the grocery store, or sometimes when we use a public restroom. I know that so many people are seeking health and wellbeing for themselves as well as their families and our homes and intuitively know that there are just so many chemicals that we are exposed to on a regular basis in the workplace and all the other places we visit in our daily lives. So, here are a few of the “uglies” that are found specifically in commercial air fresheners.
Unhealthy Ingredients in Air Fresheners
The basic ingredients in air fresheners are formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, 1,4 dichlorobenzene and aerosol propellants. Some common chemicals found in air fresheners have been found to be toxic to humans and may increase the incidence of many different health problems.
There are many concerns with using common commercial air fresheners but the main problem lies in the types of chemicals present inside them. The most dangerous of these chemicals are phthalates.
The Dangers of Phthalates
Phthalates are hazardous chemicals known to cause cancer, hormonal abnormalities, birth defects, and reproductive problems. A study by the Natural Resources Defense Council(NRDC) found that 12 of 14 common household air fresheners contained phthalates and that none of them listed phthalates as an ingredient. YIKES!
Yes, this is some scary stuff, but with this information, I believe we can really become more conscious about what is out there and how to bring our homes and lives into a better balance. Removing the toxic chemicals and choosing a healthier life and environment are what we are all seeking. Balance really is the key. And so is being informed. When we use our intuition as a guide to seek a healthy life and home, we can never go wrong.
The nose really does know, and we need to trust that intrinsic truth.