The aroma of an air spray, scented candle or plug-in makes a house smell sweet. Unfortunately, they may cause a bitter experience for your family. Most of them contain toxic chemicals like:

...Or do they? A lot of the articles you’ll find use dated research. Most of the articles you find quote the study Hidden Hazards of Air Fresheners by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). They found that 12 of 14 air fresheners they tested contained phthalates. However, that study is from 2007. According to Consumer Reports, Gina Solomon, M.D., a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council says that, “A few manufacturers changed their products after our 2007 report found phthalates in 12 of 14 air fresheners we tested.” While this may be true, the question then becomes, “Which air fresheners are OK?” That’s not so simple to answer.

Air freshener “hidden” ingredients Perhaps the scariest part of the 2007 study was that the air fresheners didn’t mention phthalates anywhere in the ingredients because they don’t have to. So, even if you’re a big label reader, it may not do you any good. So, what’s the solution?

Look for air freshener health ratings We’ve found a few awesome websites that actively look at all air freshener product ingredients and rate the products based on how healthy they are. Wait, didn’t we just say that many air fresheners don’t list all their ingredients? Yes, but some do. In fact, the more forthcoming a product is about its ingredients (or saying it’s “free” of a particular ingredient) the higher a health rating it gets. The websites that have these ratings include:

Good Guide is especially detailed in how it creates its ratings.

Natural ways to clean your air

If you’re looking for ways to clean your home’s air, then air fresheners, no matter how “healthy" they are will never actually clean your air. They just mask the smell. If you really want healthier air, we suggest getting an air cleaner to actively clean the air in your home. Check out our article Portable Air Cleaners vs. Whole-Home Air Cleaners: Which One Should I Buy? to get started. Did you find this article useful? Read more articles on how to improve your home’s indoor air quality.

Ragsdale Heating, Air, Plumbing & Electrical has been serving the metro Atlanta area for over 25 years. Contact us online for more information on how we can help you.

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