Toxic air fresheners? Unfortunately, yes. Scientists have discovered that chemicals commonly found in most household air fresheners, called phthalates, can cause serious health problems. Phthalates are known as endocrine disrupters which in layman's terms means that they are disruptive to the body's hormones. This can lead to birth defects in unborn babies and neurological damage in young children. Some studies have suggested carcigenic effects.
Many synthetic fragrances also cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and sinuses, difficulty breathing, asthmatic reactions and changes in nervous system function.
Have you ever walked through the perfume isle at a department store and immediatley became congested or developed a headache soon afterwards? Be aware that these man-made scents are also in cosmetics, cleaning products, soaps, laundry products, perfumes, candles or just about any product where a pleasant scent is desired. Beware of any ingredient called "fragrance" because you could be getting much more than a nice scent! Look for "phthalate free" when shopping for commercial air fresheners. It's also a good idea to learn some homemade perfume recipes. The more we can eliminate synthetic chemicals, the better!
You can still have a pleasant, fresh smelling home without using toxic air fresheners! Here's some alternatives so you can improve the air quality in your home.
SIMMER HERBS TO FRESHEN THE AIR
Dried herbs are available inexpensively all year and can make your home smell wonderful! Many are even said to kill germs and bacteria by simply tossing a handful into a pot of water and simmering on your stove. The pot can be carried throughout the house or left in a sick room to kill germs, decongest your patient or lift their mood.
Here's some herbs to simmer:
Buy or grow an organic herb and enjoy a chemical free, incredible smelling home!
GROW PLANTS AS NATURAL NON TOXIC AIR FRESHENERS
Plants are oxygen factories and can also help with indoor air pollution. They have been proven (recent study by NASA) to remove common yet toxic household chemicals such as formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene.
Be aware that many houseplants are poisonous to children and pets!
Here are some of the least toxic plants:
Just about everyone loves the ambience and smell of candles but few know that most are made from paraffin (a petroleum product), synthetic fragrances and have metal wicks. Not a very appealing combination, is it?
If you want to enjoy clean air buy only 100% beeswax, soy wax or vegetable oil candles that are unscented and have cotton wicks. If you want scented candles use ones that use only pure (preferably organic) essential oils.
ESSENTIAL OILS FOR A SCENTED HOME
Essential oils are derived directly from plants and are highly concentrated. They have a multitude of uses but can also be used to create a scented home.
A few drops on a essential oil diffuser or in your pot of simmering herbs can change the whole mood of your house!
Keep in mind that it's been said some essential oils are toxic to cats. My opinion? If pure, natural essential oils are toxic to cats than what are those commercial toxic air fresheners doing to your cat? Or the rest of us for that matter...
NATURAL INCENSE AS A NON TOXIC AIR FRESHENER
Once again most mass produced incense cones and sticks are made with synthetic materials and fragrances. Be sure to purchase incense made natural resins, gums, essential oils, flowers, woods, powders and other botanicals.
Yes, even in the dead of winter! If the house needs a good airing out then do it. Especially after someone in the household has been sick.
Don't forget that when you "Go Natural" your not only helping yourself and your family but your helping to heal or planet as well!
Essential oil diffusers come in many forms. This soapstone diffuser is great for changing the mood in any room!
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