December 21 2010
The air freshener fad is obvious. Our TVs are booming with air freshener commercials and almost every bathroom, dorm room and hospital has it on hand for a daily, if not hourly, refreshing spritz. We readily have these products on hand because they smell good. They accomplish the job of “freshening” the air, but is that all they’re doing?
Most have never even considered what air fresheners are made of. When we spray their contents into the air, we inhale their fumes and our skin absorbs their chemicals. So wouldn’t you like to know what your air freshener is made of and how those ingredients affect your health?
In a recent study, the Natural Resources Defense Council tested 14 air fresheners taken from the shelf of a nation-wide drug store. They found that 12 out of the 14 products contained the hormone-disrupting chemical phthalates. None of the 12 included phthalates in their list of ingredients on their product label. The federal government does not enforce ingredient regulation on air freshener makers and therefore does not require a complete list of ingredients for consumers.
Exposure to phthalates has been known to disrupt reproductive normalities, brain development and even cognitive behavior. Studies show that infants and small children exposed to phthalates significantly increase their risks of developing autism.
Phthalates are only one of the many chemicals emitted by air fresheners. What’s in your air freshener? If you use one of the common off-the-shelf products, there is a good chance you are exposing yourself to chemicals you would otherwise avoid. A better alternative would be to increase air circulation by opening windows or even finding a more natural air freshening solution like Nature’s Fresh Enzyme Spray.
December 15 2010
Without knowing much about their ingredients, Americans put a great amount of trust in their store-bought cleaning products. Most don’t realize that their home “cleaning” products may be doing more harm than help. Many of these solutions use chemicals that come with health risks we all want to avoid—not referring to the rare cases when products are accidently ingested. Simply using the products the way labels instruct can put not only you but everyone interacting with the “cleaned” space at risk.
A 2010 study involving over 1,500 women found that exposure to home cleaning products significantly increased their risk of developing breast cancer. The study concluded that the women who reported the highest cleaning product use had doubled their risk of breast cancer compared to those that reported the lowest use of the toxic chemicals.
As Americans spend the majority of their time indoors, whether at home or at work, they are constantly bombarded with indoor air pollution. With poor ventilation and confined spaces, the fumes emitted by cleaning products are major contributors to the poor air quality inside. And though some assume that those harmed by the harsh chemicals are affected only after ingesting them, they are wrong. Home cleaning products are attacking our health every day as the body more readily absorbs their chemicals through the skin and respiratory tract.
What can you do? Think twice about the cleaning products you use to maintain a healthy home. Consider using alternative products and avoid the typical shelf products that have been found as a health threat. More natural home cleaning solutions are always a better choice when it comes to any type of cleaning—laundry, air freshening, dish washing or surface cleaning.