It is Indoor Allergy Week this week and I can’t pass up an opportunity to whinge about my pet hate: air fresheners! Here is an excerpt about them from my Non-Toxic House & Home Factsheet, complete with alternatives you can use!
Amongst the worst offenders in the home. They don’t remove smells, they can contain things that deaden your nose nerves or coat nasal passages with an oily film. Or they simply have a powerful smell that covers up the horrible one. Aromatherapy air fresheners are not aromatherapy oils at all, but synthetics. Chemicals you inhale can go straight via the lungs and into the blood stream.
Women who use air fresheners every day are more likely to suffer headaches and depression, and their babies more infections and diarrhoea. They are also related to anxiety and hyperventilation. We are now suffering from sick-home syndrome as well as sick building syndrome!
Look out for Para-dichlorobenzene (an irritant), Napthalene (possible carcinogen), Formaldehyde (suspected carcinogen) and there are many others, but most don’t have the ingredients on them.
Best option is to keep things clean – non-toxically, of course. Otherwise use a pump spray with essential oils in. Choose a blend and add 1 drop of essential oil to every 10ml of filtered water. Use candles instead – make your own aromatherapy candles – light a beeswax candle and drop some essential oil into the pool of wax and relight. Careful as essential oils are flammable. Or buy non-paraffin based candles.
Have more plants about and fresh flowers. Use a cotton wall ball in your hoover, put a cotton wall ball behind your radiator or bowls of water and oils in the room to evaporate. Or, use lamp rings. Make your own ‘shake and vac’ using bicarb or cornstarch – not talc as it is carcinogenic if inhaled – and add (non-coloured) essential oils and shake onto the carpet as you hoover.