Dangers of Scented Air Fresheners and Scented Candles


Most people are drawn to enticing smells and many spends hundreds of dollars a year on candles and air fresheners to keep their houses smelling like fresh spring air or a bouquet of fresh flowers. But have you ever noticed being in a candle shop or a section of the store where they have the scented fresheners you begin to notice your eyes itching and a headache come on? What causes this? This post is to share with you the dangers of scented air fresheners and scented candles and how these chemicals affect overall health and wellbeing.

The Truth About Those Smell Good Scents

It’s only human to seek out pleasant smells and to try to eliminate unattractive scents from our environments. However, the immediate and long-term effects of synthetic  fragrance exposure is hazardous to our health. Simply adding a pleasant smelling chemical to our bodies and air will not only affect our own health, but the health of those who share the air with us. Fragrance or parfum on an ingredient list actually represents a trade secret fragrance recipe that could be made up of not just one or two chemicals, but instead, hundreds of synthetic chemicals selected from a group of over 5,000 that do not have to be disclosed or tested for safety.

Unfortunately, seeing the term “natural fragrance” or even “essential oil” on an ingredient list doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe. In a study analyzing 25 of the top selling products, green, natural and organic fragranced products emitted just as many hazardous chemicals as regular fragranced products. That’s because most essential oils in consumer products are lower grade and processed with a toxic solvent. In addition, essential oils containing terpenes such as pine and citrus oils react with ozone in surrounding air to create secondary pollutants such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetone, and ultrafine particles. To ensure safety, essential oils in products should be verified as organic, pure, therapeutic and extracted without solvents. I use these essential oils when it comes to my families health and wellbeing.

Dangers of Scented Air Fresheners and Scented Candles

Scented fragrances have been ssociated with diabetes, obesity, autism, ADD/ADHD and hormone disruption. Sadly not only the one wearing the fragrance is affected, but also the indoor air quality and those sharing the space are impacted.

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) study, 72% of products with the ingredient “fragrance” contained endocrine disruptors called phthalates. Phthalates have been linked to diabetes, obesity, liver and breast cancer, hormone disruption affecting fertility and development as well as linked to ADHD and Autism in first and third trimester prenatal exposure. The National Academy of Sciences, working with an expert panel, stated that there may be cancer-causing chemicals in fragrance recipes, but there is no way for the consumer to make informed decisions. Up to 95% of these chemicals are derived from petrochemicals that are known to cause cancer, birth defects, nervous system disorders, asthma, and allergies. To make matters worse, many products labeled as “unscented” are actually the fragranced product with the addition of another masking fragrance.  The use of synthetic chemicals to mimic natural fragrances is putting us all at risk and is in many toxic products that could be making you sick.

Alternative Options to Artificial Scents

I have to admit, I was a big fan of scented Yankee Candles, that is, until I learned the ugly truth. The great part is that we haven’t missed them at all! I have completely replaced toxic scents with my Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils. My husband comments on how nice the house smells when I diffuse and not only the amazing toxin-free aromas, but it’s benefiting our emotional and physical well-being. We have noticed a marked difference on everything from immune health, feeling uplifted and energized, experiencing less stress and overall happier and healthier. You can learn more about where to get a diffuser and pure essential oils here.

In addition to the diffuser I also think it is important to have good quality air filters to reduce toxins in the air. Here is what we have and love it! It works great and we noticed a difference in our indoor air quality almost immediately.  Plants are another natural and inexpensive way to improve and clean the air in your house.



Ditch the Poison with DIY Natural Cleaning Products

Natural Cleaning Products

We buy cleaning and household products to kill germs and clean our houses, but many people don’t consider the ingredients those products contain, or whether or not they are safe. Of course most people know that you shouldn’t ingest or inhale these products directly, but don’t have a clear understanding of harm they can do beyond that. This post will share with you the dangers of household products as well as some DIY Natural Cleaning Product alternatives!

The Dirty Truth of Household Products

Common household cleaning products contribute to indoor air pollution, are poisonous if ingested, and can be harmful if inhaled or touched. In fact, some cleaners are among the most toxic products found in the home. Cleaning ingredients vary in the type of health hazard they pose. Some cause acute, or immediate, hazards such as skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or chemical burns. Others are associated with chronic, or long-term, effects such as cancer and other diseases.

Chemicals can cause severe burns on eyes, skin and, if ingested, on the throat and esophagus. Ingredients with high acute toxicity include chlorine bleach and ammonia, which produce fumes that are highly irritating to eyes, nose, throat and lungs, and should not be used by people with asthma or lung or heart problems. These two chemicals pose an added threat in that they can react with each other or other chemicals to form lung-damaging gases. Combining products that contain chlorine and ammonia or ammonia (i.e. oven cleaners) produces chloramine gases, while chlorine combined with acids (i.e. toilet bowl cleaners) forms toxic chlorine gas that can be deadly.

But they smell so good……

Fragrances added to cleaners such as laundry detergents and fabric softeners, may cause acute effects such as respiratory problems, headache, sneezing, and watery, irritated eyes in sensitive individuals or allergy and asthma sufferers. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has found that one-third of the substances used in the fragrance industry are toxic. However, because chemical formulas of fragrances are considered trade secrets and private information, companies aren’t required to list their toxic ingredients they simply have to label them as containing “fragrance.”

Other ingredients in cleaners may have low acute toxicity but contribute to long-term health effects, such as cancer or hormone disruption. Chemicals that are hormone disruptors can interfere with the body’s natural chemical messages, either by blocking or mimicking the actions of hormones. Health effects can include decreased sperm counts, increased rates of male birth defects and increased rates of some types of cancers. Ingredients used in some detergents and cleaners have been shown to mimic the estrogen hormone. Not to mention that these chemicals get washed down our drains and into our local water sources and into the environment. Toxins are bad for everyone so eliminating as many as possible is good for ourselves, our family and the environment.

DIY Natural Cleaning Products

Making your own homemade natural cleaning products does not need to be hard or expensive. In fact, you can make several products in a very short period of time. Here are some great easy DIY recipes for natural cleaning products using common ingredients and essential oils. Using these homemade products will eliminate toxic chemicals and cut down on indoor air pollution which helps to improve overall health and wellness! Click here to learn where to get pure Essential Oils for your cleaning products.

If you are looking for some DIY Natural Cleaning Product Recipes Here are some from my favorite oily bloggers:

Have you tried to make your own natural cleaning products yet?