Monday, 11 March 2013

A Health Nutty Epic Fail: Volume 3

"Turbo-nose." That's how I've always described my sense of smell. With a giant beast-of-a-dog, and 2 cats...I'm willing to do anything to make my house smell like anything but an animal farm! Hey, I'll just grab an air freshener, right? 

Hold tha phone....... what's the label say?  Is it actually healthy to be inhaling these scents so many of us use in our homes? From air sprays, to plug-ins, many of them contain yucky stuff we don't want messing with the air quality of our home. For years I have done what's easy, and went with store bought fresheners. Now it's time to give it up.

The Health Nutty Epic Fail: Volume 3 - The Health Risks of Air Fresheners.

Since I am constantly on a journey to make our home "safer" and more "green," I believe there are better and healthier options out there to make our living space smell grande.

First, let's look at why air fresheners may be a more risky option than choosing something more natural.

Many Air Fresheners Contain Harsh Chemicals
The Environmental News Network released an article in September 2007 that the Natural Resource Defense Council tested 14 different popular air fresheners, and found that they contained phalates. These are chemicals that may cause hormonal imbalance, birth defects, and even reproductive problems. Others showed they contained formaldehyde, allergens, and VOC's which may be cancer causing (

Kimberly Snyder is a brilliant Nutritionist that writes about her "secrets everyone can use to experience extraordinary health" ( She wrote about some of the other harmful ingredients in air fresheners we should be aware of. She mentions petroleum distallates. These are chemicals that can often cause asthma, and even respiratory problems. Even aerosol propellants were mentioned, as she lists symptoms like breathing problems, chronic health issues, and how she believes many store bought air fresheners may increase your risk of cancer ( Read more from her article, HERE.

Further, The Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia says air fresheners work by "deadening the sensitivity of nerves that help to pick up scents" ( Some also believe that the chemicals in air fresheners may be linked to depression, dizziness, migraines, memory loss, even kidney and liver damage.

Air Fresheners can be costly 
If we are purchasing the unit to plug in the freshener, we are typically looking at anywhere from $7-10. Then refilling them every few weeks, as well. The refills come in packs of 2, costing anywhere from $5-10. This certainly isn't something we can afford right now, and there are plenty of other places we would rather see our money going!

Air Fresheners may be a fire hazard
A nasty fire was started, likely due to the air freshener plugged in the kitchen of this woman's home. Check out an article from the daily mail, here.

So, what do we do? 

Freshen up your home N-A-T-U-R-A-L-L-Y!

  • When it's warm enough outside, open the windows and get a nice breeze flowing through the house. Nothing like hearing the birdies chirping, too!
  • Try using essential oils in an oil burner. Some can actually help purify the air, too. Try Lavender oil, eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, cinnamon, orange, chamomile, or ginger oil.
  • "Simmer spices like cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg on the stovetop in a simmering pot" (
  • Make your own air freshener spray:  1/2 cup of water, 10 drops peppermint oil, 10 drops tea tree oil, 10 drops orange oil ( 
So, I'm gonna pass on coating my nasal passage with toxic chemicals. Let's get crack-a-lackin' on finding more creative, healthy, and safer ways to make our homes smell heavenly.

What kind of natural things freshen up your pad? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Check out one of my favourite essential oils, and many others, HERE!


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