When I had my first apartment as an adult, I took it as a personal challenge to make sure every single person who entered my home would comment on how wonderful it smelled. I used plugin air fresheners, burnt candles, had Scentsy’s burning allthetime once they became a thing, and sprayed popular spray air fresheners like a maniac before I was expecting guests. Oh my gosh! I was inhaling so many chemicals and so were my guests! Hindsight is always 20/20, and I’m so glad that I stopped using all that artificial junk a few years ago.
According to Anne Steinemann, a UW professor of civil and environmental engineering and public affairs, cancer causing ingredients are in popular brands of air fresheners, laundry soaps and fabric softeners – and get this – they aren’t included on the label!
It’s maddening! When I come across studies like this one, it always brings me back to the controversial topic of how the FDA wants to put a stop to advertising essential oils. Don’t even get me started.
“I was surprised by both the number and the potential toxicity of the chemicals that were found. Chemicals included acetone, the active ingredient in paint thinner and nail-polish remover; limonene, a molecule with a citrus scent; as well as acetaldehyde, chloromethane and 1,4-dioxane.
Nearly 100 volatile organic compounds were emitted from these six products, and none were listed on any product label. Plus, five of the six products emitted one or more carcinogenic ‘hazardous air pollutants,’ which are considered by the Environmental Protection Agency to have no safe exposure level”.
Are you using a popular air freshener, laundry soap or fabric softener? Chances are likely you are. It’s okay, though, you can slowly start to swap out all the nasty ingredients in your home with safe choices!
- Instead of air fresheners, try diffusing essential oils! While the price of a quality diffuser can be offsetting to some at first, no price can be put on our health. And not only are you avoiding toxins by using a diffuser rather than an air freshener, you’re actually doing your body and brain good by inhaling essential oils
- Try an all-natural brand of laundry soap. I like Molly’s Suds <– no, not an affiliate link, I just love their products!
- STOP using fabric softener, especially the dryer sheets! Instead, try vinegar during the rinse cycle or use a wool ball. I like to drop essential oils on the wool ball before throwing it in the dryer to naturally add a pleasant smell to my laundry.