Can air fresheners make you sick? | Grist

Posted by Trish Riley, January 16, 2012

Let’s get the New Year off to a fresh start by tackling this sickening situation. In public spaces across the country, including offices, stores, restaurants, airports, and schools, air "freshener" is being forced upon us. Daily we are subjected to known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and other toxic substances. Sounds like a horror film, but it is our scentsational reality.We’ve talked before about the hazards inherent in air fresheners. The EPA puts it quite poetically: "Air fresheners are usually highly flammable and also strong irritants to eyes, skin, and throat. Additionally, the solid fresheners usually cause death if eaten by people or pets."Yes, these household helpers — which became popular in the 1950s, along with perky smiles and perfect apple pies — contain all manner of harmful ingredients, including formaldehyde, a powerful pesticide called paradichlorobenzene, and phthalates. In short, air "fresheners" actually make our air quality much worse, polluting our space and our bodies. To quote the EPA again, "air fresheners … release pollutants more or less continuously."

via Ask Umbra: Can air fresheners make you sick? | Grist.