Apples & cinnamon. Tropical Fresh. Lavender & chamomile. Sound familiar? These are just a few of the popular scents found in household air fresheners and if you prefer crisp linen or citrus, there’s probably an air freshener for that, too. You probably have them in the bathroom and maybe even in the kitchen or living room, but did you know that lots of those sweet-smelling air fresheners are actually making you sick?

  1. Some common household air fresheners are designed to automatically spray a scented mist into the air. However, some of these sprays contain flammable chemicals that can ignite if you light any type of flame (think cigarette lighter or a match).

  2. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be found in a number of different air fresheners and they can cause a variety of health effects such as nose and throat irritation, headaches or even kidney or liver damage.

  3. Electric air fresheners are known to emit a carcinogen called formaldehyde. Formaldehyde can cause coughing, wheezing or dizziness among other uncomfortable side effects.

  4. Air fresheners containing phthalates, which a lot of them do, can cause hormone levels to change, poor semen quality and birth defects. Some types of phthalates are also known to be human carcinogens.

  5. Suffer from allergies? Those scented mists can actually be making your symptoms worse. Lots of air fresheners contain chemicals that can cause irritation to your airways, especially if you suffer from asthma.

So, what can you do instead?

We recommend creating your own aromas by doing things like brewing tea or cutting up an orange. We also suggest opening up windows when the weather is nice outside to let musty smells out and bring fresh air in.

At Rusk, we know that complete home comfort is about more than just temperature – it’s also about maintaining a healthy home with indoor air quality. Call us today to find out how we can help!