“The long term health effects of indoor pollutants is on par with that of car accidents and infectious disease…”
–the Environmental Energy Technologies Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Many air fresheners on the market, which people purchase to “clean” their air, are loaded with toxic and/or carcinogenic chemicals such as formaldehyde, petrochemicals, p-dichlorobenzene and aerosol pollutants. In contrast, bamboo charcoal is an air purifier, pulling toxins out of the air and making it safer for us to breathe. We’ve gathered news stories and research related to air quality, toxins in air fresheners, toxins in new cars and more. We’re continually adding to this page, so please check back!
“Let’s Clear the Air about Air Fresheners and Plug-Ins,” brochure, The Global Campaign for Recognition of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
Very informative brochure, includes summary information on several toxic chemicals commonly found in air fresheners.
“Learn About Chemicals Around Your House: Air Fresheners,” Environmental Protection Agency
This page lists the four basic ingredients in air fresheners: formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, p- dichlorobenzene, and aerosol propellants.
“Air Fresheners’ Real Impact On Indoor Air Quality,” Health Child Healthy World, March 28, 2011
Brief article on dangers of air fresheners.
“Synthetic Air Fresheners’ Toxic Taint,”Greener Penny, July 22, 2010
Short piece summarizing recent studies on toxins in air fresheners and general advice.
“Self-reported chemicals exposure, beliefs about disease causation, and risk of breast cancer in the Cape Cod Breast Cancer and Environment Study: a case-control study,” Environmental Health Journal, July 20, 2010
Study reporting an increased risk of breast cancer – as much as double – among women who frequently use household cleaning products, including air fresheners.
Environmental Protection Agency, 98-page report on the ingredients in air fresheners, 2008
In particular, see pages 76-98 for the ingredients in air fresheners reported to the EPA by the Fragrance Materials Association.
“New Study: Common Air Fresheners Contain Chemicals That May Affect Human Reproductive Development – Environmental Group Calls for Additional Testing, Consumer Awareness to Prevent Risky Exposure,” press release, National Resources Defense Council, September 19, 2007
Analysis of common air fresheners found most contain chemicals that may affect hormone and reproductive development.
Toxins and New Cars
“Toxins Responsible for that ‘New Car Smell’,” TriplePundit.com, February 16, 2012
A quick summary of the comprehensive report we link to below from the Ecology Center; includes a convenient chart on best- and worst-ranked cars in terms of toxic chemicals
2011-12 Guide to New Vehicles, Ecology Center’s HealthyStuff.org, February 2012
Includes information on toxic chemicals that off-gas and leach from interior auto parts.