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Exposed: The Shocking Truth About Air Fresheners

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Exposed: The Shocking Truth About Air Fresheners

Before you spray Febreze or plug in a Glade Plug-In, light a scented candle, or use some so-called air freshening wick, mist, aerosol, or other car or room deodorizer, think twice.  You’ll be shocked to learn their ingredients and the harmful effects they can cause.  That “Cleansing Rain,” “Summer Breeze,” “Fresh Country,” “Cool Morning Air” or “Berry Burst” might be having disastrous effects on your health or the health of your family, including children and unborn fetuses.

Hormone-Disrupting Phthalates:

The Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC)—an international environmental organization—conducted a study called, “Clearing the Air:  Hidden Hazards of Air Fresheners” in which they found 86% of air fresheners tested contained dangerous phthalates.

Phthalates are used as plastic softeners, anti-foaming agents in aerosols, in vinyl found in children’s toys, automobiles, paints, pesticides, and in cosmetics and fragrances.  According to the NRDC research, “Most phthalates are well known to interfere with production of the male hormone testosterone, and have been associated with reproductive abnormalities.”

Numerous animal studies have shown exposure to phthalates decreases testosterone, causes malformations of the genitalia, and reduced sperm production.  Human studies link phthalates to changes in hormones, poor semen quality, and changes in genital formation.  Five phthalates, including one found in air fresheners are listed by the State of California as “known to cause birth defects or reproductive harm.”  Additionally, phthalates in air fresheners are associated with allergic symptoms and asthma, according to the NRDC.

Research by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control found that the majority of the American population is routinely exposed to at least five different phthalates.  Their research also shows that even if the exposures are small (they may not be!), there is a significant health threat due to the combination of phthalates acting as a higher dose.

Discover the amount of phthalates in your favorite brands of air fresheners…

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Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 17-time book author and board-certified doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim, Weekend Wonder Detox, Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and her new book The Probiotic Promise. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World's Healthiest News at to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.


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2:15PM PDT on Sep 12, 2015

Thanks Michelle.

1:13AM PST on Feb 3, 2015

Hi, just essential you to know I have added your site to my Google bookmarks due to your latest and inspiring information.


1:33AM PDT on Mar 19, 2014

thanx fr sharing

12:44AM PST on Feb 18, 2014

really evry knowledgeble

12:34AM PST on Feb 10, 2014

great info thnk you

10:00PM PST on Feb 4, 2014

its really a great info about the air freshners

3:22PM PDT on Jul 25, 2013

I did not know this! How can they do this knowingly? It's so stupid! Stuff like Febreeze has always made me asthmatic. And the only things I can use is Renuzit. I will check them to see what they have in them! ASAP!

2:13PM PDT on Apr 19, 2013

I am also concerned about phthalates but am disappointed to learn that the information shared in the article is quite dated (though the article was published in 2012). The study by the NRDC quoted in this article is from 2007. I just check the SCJ web site and found that they phased out phthalates in 2008 and wonder if other manufacturers have done this as well.

I would love to see an update to this article that actually presents current information. It looks like this author just lifted information from the NRDC health facts sheet and didn't do any additional research.

1:31PM PST on Feb 23, 2013

Thanks for the heads up. I'll stick to nature as much as I can.

5:08PM PST on Feb 21, 2013

Since I developed asthma in old age, I stay away from all aerosals, in general.. Think they're all dangerous... hair spray, etc.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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