Would you breathe this crap into your body?
2,6-dimethyl-7-octen-2-ol; 2-t-butylcyclohexyl acetate; butylphenyl methylpropional; c13-14 alkane; dipropylene glycol; ethyl linalool; ethyl methylphenylglycidate; hexyl cinnamal; linalool; methyldihydrojasmonate
For years I have shuddered with fear when I walk into a home that has plug-in style air fresheners or scented candles made by multinational corporations and sold in supermarkets all over the world. In every major shopping centre all over the country we are familiar with the scents spraying at us from the wall when we visited the loo or Parents’ room. Most people are just thankful we don’t have to smell poo or wee smells, but I can guarantee that by the end of this piece, you will wish you were smelling an organic substance rather than the chemical concoction that is filling your lungs, and then being spread to every cell in your body.
Air fresheners come in sprays, candles, sticks, plug ins and wax melts. The ads on tv will tell you that a fresh and clean home is in the way the “air” smells. We have been sold the lie that if it smells fresh then it is clean. And if it smells clean then it must be good for us.
This kind of marketing couldn’t be farther from the truth.
The chemical ingredients in your stock standard air fresheners, yes even the ones labelled “natural”, contain powerfully toxic substances that can affect your lung function, your hormones and your unborn baby. Butane is a common propellant, used for bbq cooking (we do this outside!!!!) but is being propelled into our homes every few minutes if you grab one of the time-controlled fresheners.
Fragrances or perfumes are chemical cocktails that are anything but natural, and some fragrance blends contain over 200 ingredients. Some of these ingredients are known irritants, causing headaches and dizziness– OMG this is frightening to me. We are BREATHING this straight into our lungs. But most people I know just don’t seem to care, they will say “just move into fresh air” or “you don’t feel dizzy after a few seconds pass” – but the problem is you should care! The damage is already done, the chemicals are already in your bloodstream after just one inhalation.
Have you heard of the NRDC? The Natural Resources Defense Council was created in the 1970’s by attorneys, scientists and policy advocates “across the globe to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water, and the wild.” (Check out their vid here)
In 2007 the NRDC warned of the dangers of air fresheners, as their rise to popularity meant they could be found in almost 75% of American homes. The NRCD’s publication warns of the toxic substance called phthalates (THA-lates) – and lists 5 forms of thalates that are recognised as potentially affecting reproductive health. The major commercial brands are still using phthalates some ten years later, despite the research showing there is a clear link to the male hormone testosterone being affected – just through inhalation. There is also research that shows babies are being affected in utero as well. There are plenty of pregnant mamas out there who could be potentially harming their own child by having these toxic chemicals in the home! Why are we not being warned?
One unsuspecting 25yr old woman suffered a heart attack after she inhaled an air freshener with a butane propellant (which is what most “spray fresheners” contain) on a trip to the grocery store. (read more here)
Do you suffer with asthma? Apart from making sure your diet is in check, you need to be careful about many factors, including the air you are breathing. Air fresheners have been linked to triggering asmtha attacks and decreasing lung function (read more here)
But it isn’t just inhalation from a product that is sprayed that can cause problems for us humans, it is also just touching the product (such as when you are opening the wax melts or unwrapping the candles) or by having the products sitting on the counter tops and just evaporating.
Want to know more about the products you have brought into your home, with the intention of creating a fresh, clean environment? (Click here)
So why isn’t the Australian government banning the sale of these potentially life threatening products? Because money talks and big industry has power in this country and all over the world. I have to note though, that it would seem that Europe cares more for its citizens than our government does, because many banned substances in Europe are freely allowed to be used here….we can be so antiquated in that respect don’t you think?
But now that you know, you can use your own personal power by choosing NOT to buy these products that are questionable at best, and dangerous at worst.
Living a healthful, vibrant and enjoyable life comes down detoxing and cleaning out all aspects of your life.
Do it little by little so you don’t get overwhelmed. Start with freshening the home environment so you can be sure your home is a refuge and sanctuary, designed for restorating and replenishing your health, and most importantly is safe for the whole family.
So how DO you ensure you have a fresh smelling home? The old fashioned ways……
- Open windows and allow the breeze to filter through. Create a cross breeze where possible and ALWAYS, I mean ALWAYS have a window slightly open at night in the bedrooms. (If safety is an issue get a lock.)
- Ensure cupboards are free of mould, and if they do happen to get mouldy, use a product that will draw the damp out of the air (bi-carb soda works)
- Get a dehumidifier and leave it on all day if your home is damp in certain rooms. Turn it off at night, cos they can be noisy. Add a drop of tea tree to the water catchment area. Mould smells musty and dank, so if you can smell it, but cant see it, then you know it is there.
- Chop trees / shrubs that overhang the house, causing sunlight to not get through, remove leaf litter from gutters and put down gutter protectors
- Make sure there is enough room under the house for water to flow (you will need to get a professional to assess this. But believe me, I lived in a rental for years that had awful issues with rising damp. It made me and my kids sick and meant that I couldn’t use the cupboards in the part of the room which were the dampest. Anything that stayed on the floor longer than a couple days would get covered in mould, and even my doona became infested with it. Countless shoes were ruined during my 3.5yrs in that house, and my entire bedding needed replacing. A mould inspector found the issue and we put steps in place to make sure it was as healthy as possible. But I would NEVER buy or rent a house with a damp issue again. It just isn’t worth the illness it causes).
- Use cleaning products you make yourself. I use a 1L spray bottle, fill it with 20 drops dōTERRA lemon oil, 15 drops dōTERRA tea tree and 10 drops doTERRA On Guard. Then add 5mls oconut oil and the fill to the brim with water. (I prefer not to use vinegar but many people swear by it). This combo will clean, deodorise, disinfect and remove stains from bench tops, toilets, shower screens and any other surface you would usually use a store-bought cleaner for.
- Purify the air naturally with therapeutic grade essential oils, but ONLY in a diffuser. Diffusing is different to “oil burning”, (which is where you put a candle under the bowl of oil and water – this changes the properties of the oils). Diffusing will send the pure oil into the air via steam vapour, making it easier for your body to take in. It freshens the air, and fragrances the air with nontoxic chemicals. My favourites to use are lemon, lime, wild orange, on guard and tea tree. But dōTERRA have soooo many options, you can literally choose any oil combination you like. But please, only use therapeutic grade (higher than food grade). To read more about why dōTERRA is my choice click here.