Indoor air pollution is a serious concern as it affects more people than outdoor pollution. The reason is people spend more than 90% of their time indoors, whether in the office or home, without knowing the type of pollutants present in the indoor air. Even the products that you use on a daily basis such as perfumes, incense sticks, room fresheners, and cleaning products are loaded with pollutants. However, homeowners use these products without giving a second thought to the harm they cause to health and well-being. So, in this blog, let’s discuss in detail how room fresheners and perfumes lead to indoor air pollution. Read on.
Is Room Freshener Harmful to Health?
Some room fresheners can be harmful to health due to the chemicals they contain. Prolonged exposure to these chemicals can lead to respiratory issues, allergies, and even trigger asthma attacks. It’s best to opt for natural alternatives like opening windows, using ventilation, or using essential oils for fragrance. If you do use room fresheners, choose ones labelled as non-toxic and use them in moderation.
List of Chemicals Present in Fragrances
The different types of scented products such as room fresheners, perfumes, cosmetics, or even scented candles have more than 3000 chemicals in them. In fact, some of the chemicals may also lead to health issues such as respiratory problems and asthma. These products contain phthalates, which is a controversial chemical that can affect your hormones. This harmful chemical is generally added to almost all scented products. In addition, fragrance-free products also contain artificial fragrances or ingredients that mask fragrance, which is more harmful. These products have at least one ingredient that is synthetic and leads to a number of health problems. The fragrance blends contain solvents, stabilizers, UV-absorbers, preservatives, and dyes, which contribute to indoor air pollution. Some of the other harmful chemicals present in fragrances are:
- Respiratory Irritants
- Endocrine Disruptors
- Environmental Toxins
The Effects of These Chemicals on Health
Synthetic chemicals present in fragrances can have a lot of negative effects on your body. Exposure to these fragrances for a long time can lead to a number of health problems. Here is a list of health issues caused by perfumes and room fresheners.
1. Allergies and Asthma
A lot of people are allergic to fragrances. However, people with multiple chemical sensitivities (MCV) react to almost any kind of fragrance. These chemicals may lead to coughing, sneezing or inflamed eyes, and irritation in the respiratory tract. These reactions are a sign that your body is trying to reject these harmful substances and may lead to internal damage.
Some of the ingredients present in fragrances have been listed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization (WHO) as probable or known human carcinogens. These fragrances also contain formaldehyde, which is another leading cause of cancer.
3. Migraines and Headaches
If you suffer from frequent migraine attacks or headaches without any known cause, scented products may be the reason. Plug-in style air fresheners, fabric softeners, laundry scent crystals, perfumes, or colognes are some of the main triggers of migraine and headaches.
The Possible Solution
Avoiding room fresheners and perfumes may not be possible. The only way to deal with the problem is to reduce the usage of these products. In addition, you also need to install a HEPA air purifier, which plays an important role in maintaining indoor air quality. The HEPA filters catch and trap 99.9% of pollutants from the indoor air to improve indoor air quality. The filters effectively remove dust mites, PM 2.5, bacteria, and other harmful pollutants from the indoor air.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does air freshener have side effects?
Air fresheners can have various side effects on health. The chemicals present in some air fresheners can trigger allergies, asthma attacks, and respiratory irritation. They may also release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can contribute to indoor air pollution and affect indoor air quality. It is recommended to opt for natural alternatives or improve ventilation to minimize the potential side effects of air fresheners.
2. Is it safe to use air freshener everyday?
Using air fresheners every day may not be completely safe. Continuous exposure to the chemicals and fragrances in air fresheners can have long-term health effects. It is advisable to limit the use of air fresheners, opt for natural alternatives like essential oils or fresh air, and ensure proper ventilation in indoor spaces to maintain a healthier environment.
3. How can I freshen my air naturally?
There are several natural ways to freshen the air in your space. Open windows to allow fresh air in, use houseplants to naturally filter and purify the air, sprinkle baking soda on carpets and upholstery to absorb odors, use natural air purifiers like activated charcoal or beeswax candles, and diffuse essential oils to add a pleasant scent to the air.