Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fresh as a spring breeze...or toxic as the local landfill?

Photo courtesy of Petr Kratochvil
I love the Glade commercials. And as an actress/voice over talent, I am truly envious of the woman who landed that gig! She has serious money rolling in!

What I don't love is this wonderful promotion of something so toxic and harmful to the health of the families who are lured into poisoning their homes for the sake of an 'Hawaiian Breeze!' Not to mention the absurdity of the plug-ins, which suck up electricity. Seriously?!

Air "fresheners," for the most part, do nothing to actually freshen the air. At best, they mask odors. At worst, they coat the inside of your nose with an oily film so you can no longer detect the offensive odor.

Here's the story -- most commercial air fresheners contain toxins that are related to a variety of symptoms, such as:
  • asthmatic episodes
  • confusion
  • coughing
  • dizziness
  • eye irritation
  • headaches (including migraines)
  • skin rashes
  • sore throats
Really? Yes, really. And here's the reason why -- most of the air fresheners you purchase at the store (after being duped by some rather clever advertising and seductive aromas) contain the following:
  • artificial fragrance (packed full of their own set of toxins)
  • camphor
  • ethanol
  • formaldehyde
  • phenol
Go ahead...head to your cupboard and grab a can, box or bottle. Read the label. Oh, but wait...there's a little FDA glitch here that excuses manufacturers from listing certain ingredients, such as phthalates, used in synthetic fragrances. That little loophole is packed full of potential problems for the naive consumer. If the word 'fragrance' is listed, chances are there are toxins hidden inside.

In a study of fourteen air fresheners done by the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), twelve had hormone-disrupting compounds in them. That's 85% folks! And don't forget those little cardboard things you hang in your cars -- they're simply not healthy!

My advice? Skip the air freshener aisle at the grocery store or your favorite bath and body shop. Open your windows and air out your house from time to time (nothing smells better, unless you live in farm country during fertilizing season). If you want to make your bedrooms smell amazing -- skip the "Springtime Fresh" air freshener and simply hang your sheets on the line. Nothing smells better than fresh air and sunshine infused sheets!

Add live plants to your decor. (Check out the post I did awhile back regarding which plants were best at eliminating toxins from the air.)

Sprinkle baking soda on your carpets and upolstery before vacuuming.

Kill odors by mix up your own air freshener with vinegar, baking soda and water.

Buy natural and organic air fresheners -- Leaf & Bud Naturals has an awesome line of natural spritzes that can be used on either your body or in the air. Fragrances include:
  • Vanilla
  • Lavender
  • Rose
  • Sandlewood
  • Jasmine
  • Cinnamon/Ylang Ylang
  • Tangerine/Grapefruit
  • Ginger Mint
  • Patchouli/Orange
So whether you're looking for something relaxing, refreshing, reviving, sensual, comforting or purifying, you'll have no trouble finding it at Leaf & Bud Naturals. It's as simple as that! And you'll be hard-pressed to find nicer folks to deal with.

Now you're armed with the knowledge needed to not fall victim to the advertisers' traps! After all, you're responsible for the health of your families. And I know you take that responsibility seriously.

Keeping it healthy,



  1. Great article GG! :) Twelve had hormone-disrupting compounds in them!? I mean I knew their were lot's but 12!? That's insane! My wife loves the vanilla and the rose you mention above. I use the lavander to help my son and myself sleep. Great stuff!


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