For years consumers have been seduced by media-driven ads to FEAR odors. Everything from air fresheners, sprays, sticks, mists, aerosols, and even scented candles, we are constantly pushed to clear our spaces of smelly things. All you have to do is sit down and watch 30 minutes of TV to see odor controlling garbage bags, aerosol room sprays, and contraptions that emit froo-froo smells. These ads are clever, strategic, and ensure that your fear of a smelly home or office, will have you investing in smelly contraptions to eliminate them. I first wrote about this epidemic four years ago in, The Unhealthy Truth About Air Fresheners, and I was shocked at how people did not know.
The marketing is intriguing and meant to play on all sorts of emotions because a happy home is one that smells really good, like vanilla and cinnamon on a cold day. Plus if you aren’t organized, and the house is a mess, a lovely febreeze spray will eliminate all your worries, right? One of my favorite fears they instill, “What will your neighbors think?” Like a prescription drug for anxiety, you consume 25 seconds of ad magic promising to destroy evil odors, which makes your home seem orderly and tidy.
What most people don’t realize, especially women, is these marketing gurus are putting the fear of odor in your brain, so you replenish your products every thirty to sixty days. Those ads are written in a way to speak to you. Just like those prescription drug ads: “Does your house have dirty socks? How about a trash can? Does your kitchen smell like food?” ….OMG! They are talking about me, I have that! So you run out and buy up every apple cinnamon air freshener on the shelf.
Well, here’s the real truth, and you better listen up because this effects not only you but your family and pets. And don’t feel bad – I had these damn things in my house too until I learned the truth!
Commercial air fresheners are toxic. They contaminate the air and have major health hazards thanks to petroleum distillates, chlorinated hydrocarbons, ketones and other dangerous solvents. My rule of thumb, if you can’t pronounce it, don’t put it in your home. And let’s be clear, they DO NOT create “fresh air,” they “mask” the air. So don’t think you are creating quality air within your home, because you’re not.
Most air freshener’s deaden unwanted odors and as Carla Emery states in her book, Country Living, “most are designed to deal with you.” What does that mean? Air fresheners basically mask natural odors by overpowering them with highly concentrated commercial chemicals, designed to COAT your nasal passages with an oily film to impair your ability to smell. Some even consist of nerve-deadening agents called phthalates, that attack your nasal passages so you may not be able to smell that cat box, but your guests can. There are even some studies that show permanent, irreversible damage to the nasal passage, with complete loss of smell.
Phthalates are starting to be phased out of the US and Canada thanks to birth defects, infertility and being carcinogenic. Not to mention the Center for Disease Control did a test on numerous women of child bearing age and found 7 different types of phthalates in their urine….but that was in 2006 and you can still buy apple cinnamon and a myriad of other flavors at your local market.
So why are they so toxic? Why should you be worried?
The shocking truth about toxic air fresheners
Common ingredients you’ll find in your run of the mill air fresheners, and candles
Instead of buying the commercially driven, air freshener death wish, opt for a homemade, DIY, environmentally safe option instead, or buy all natural products.
- Clean the problem causing the issue. Use vinegar or Vodka to clean and disinfect
- Place a dish of baking soda or vinegar in a room to absorb odors
- Open windows and allow fresh air in
- Place houseplants throughout the house to increase better air quality
- Burn all natural incense, with all natural ingredients (be cautious as many are rolled with synthetics)
- Burn bees wax candles
- Clean your home regularly
I think it’s also important to say, stop fearing odors. The most common smell that wafts a home are cooking smells. Take out the trash, and burn incense after your meal. If the weather is nice open your windows. I even throw open the windows in my house, in the dead of winter just to move the air, and clear it out. So get those commercial air fresheners out, and start improving the health of you and your family.
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