In the News
Is Your Air Freshener Poisonous?
Study says yes; industry says no
-Julie Ryan Evans
You know the great smell of freshly washed laundry? Well, if you’re using a scented laundry detergent to get it, a recent study says that fragrance may be toxic.
And it’s not just laundry products. If you have a penchant for room sprays and plug-ins, those are on the list too.
“I didn’t find a brand that didn’t emit at least one toxic chemical,” said study author Anne C. Steinemann, PhD, professor of civil and environmental engineering and public affairs at the University of Washington, Seattle. She tested laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, and air fresheners in solid, spray, and oil form after more than 200 complaints from consumers.
“I actually witnessed someone having a seizure when exposed to an air freshener,” she says.
And get this – the chemicals that make them dangerous aren’t even included on the product labels.
“If an ingredient is hazardous they [the manufacturers] still don’t need to list it,” she says. They can just put on a warning label,” she says, such as ”Don’t inhale.”
Of course, the industry that produces the products is poking holes in the study. According to Brian Sansoni, a spokesman for the Soap and Detergent Association, listing all the ingredients on a label is unrealistic, he says. Sometimes there are so many they would not fit.
And according to a statement from the Fragrance Materials Association, “consumers who experience sensitivity to fragranced products can simply avoid using them.”
I’d rather have them prove their products safe or change them, how about you?