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Chemicals found in air fresheners have been linked to many health issues. One chemical commonly found in air fresheners is 1,4-dichlorobenzene or 1,4-DCB. 1,4-DCB is linked to lung damage. And this chemical has been found in 96% of American’s blood.
“The 10% of people with the highest blood levels of 1,4-DCB did 4% worse in a test of lung function than the 10% of people with the lowest blood levels of the chemical, found Stephanie J. London, MD, and colleagues at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).”- WebMD
For people with asthma and other lung conditions this reduction in lung function could be serious. It also puts people at an increased risk of lung cancer, stroke, and heart disease.
A group of chemicals also commonly found in air fresheners is phthalates. Phthalates have been shown to alter hormone levels and cause other health problems.
“Phthalates are known to interfere with production of the male hormone, testosterone, and have been associated with reproductive abnormalities. Numerous animal studies have linked prenatal exposure to certain phthalates with decreases in testosterone, malformations of the genitalia, and reduced sperm production. The State of California notes that five types of phthalates—including one that we found in air freshener products—are “known to cause birth defects or reproductive harm.” Phthalate exposure in indoor environments has also been associated with allergic symptoms and asthma.”- Natural Resources Defense Council
These are just a few of the harmful ingredients found in most air fresheners. Making your own natural air freshener with a few simple will help protect your family’s health and even save you some money.
Natural Air Freshener
- Vodka or Everclear
- Essential Oil
Simply pour the alcohol into a spray bottle, add the essential oil(s) of your choice, and shake. The amount of oil you will need depends on how strong you want it and how big the bottle is. I start with about 10-20 and work my way up.
Many recipes call for water but I choose to leave this out because alcohol dries faster than water and it helps prevent bacteria from developing in the spray. Be sure to shake this before you use it because the essential oils and alcohol will separate.
I like to change the scent I use with the seasons. Right now I’m using a citrus scent. If you choose to make this I’d love to hear what scent you use. Also, do you avoid artificially scented items in your home?