Are you a fan of air fresheners that make friends believe you just baked a pie? Prefer to plug in a fresh scent rather than open a window?
Those lovely faux fragrances may also be filling your home with dangerous chemicals, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
University of Washington engineering professor Anne Steinemann looked at popular household items such as air fresheners (spray and plug-in), dryer sheets, fabric softener and laundry detergent. She found 100 different volatile organic compounds (VOCs), some which are known to affect indoor air quality, and could be cancerous or cause adverse health effects such as damage to respiratory, reproductive, neurological and other organ systems.
Consumers might not know this, however, due to labeling laws.
Companies are not required to disclose the ingredients of their products on the label. You might find vague descriptions of ingredients such as "perfume" or "biodegradable" contents, and words describing the safety hazards, such as "corrosive" or "irritating." But consumers are left guessing what these terms really mean.
According to industry groups referenced in the article, millions are spent annually to ensure that fragrances in the products are safe. In addition, they insist any chemicals that are considered dangerous are present in the products at extremely low levels.
Researchers said there is plenty of evidence to show consumers have adverse health reactions to ingredients in such products.
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