Air Freshners- a threat to consumers
In recent years, there has been a vast consumer demand for air freshners. These products include sprays, plug ins, sticks, scented candles and many more. While the sale of these products is increasing day by day, the health problems of people who are exposed to these products are also increasing. Every one might be using air freshener inside their vehicles to create a pleasant atmosphere. A typical car air freshener works by injecting fresh pleasant scents, such as from lemon oil or pine oil, into your car interior in a controlled manner. Such a car air freshener does not really freshens or purifies the air in your car, but gives a pleasant fragrance. An ordinary auto air freshener does not make the air healthier for you to breath. Yet, it can still be useful in certain ways.
A car air purifier on the other hand can be helpful in protecting your health from the harmful pollutants that gets into your car from the external environment, as well as from the cigarette smoke when somebody smokes in or nearby your car. A more sophisticated car air cleaner may also capture some gaseous odours, and help if you have problems (headaches, eye irritation and so on) with the new car odour. But none of the car air cleaners can capture carbon monoxide. The ineffectiveness of car air purifier on carbon monoxide is important to keep in mind when dealing with cigarette smoke, since carbon monoxide is among the most harmful components of the cigarette smoke (for example, it increases the risk of heart attacks). Even if your auto air cleaner removes the smoke, it is still important to have enough ventilation to get rid of the carbon monoxide. A car air purifier works by removing particles called air pollutants, such as dust, pollen, smoke, and bacteria, from the air you breath. Those with an activated carbon filter can also capture some gaseous odours. Unlike a car air freshener that just covers up the odours by distracting your nose with stronger and more pleasant fragrances, a car air cleaner actually tries to make your air healthier. The car air purifier is normally compact in size.
When you have a car air freshener, pay attention to how you feel while driving (any headaches or discomfort in breathing?), to make sure you are not too sensitive to the chemicals used to make the air freshners. Finally, if you drive in smoky or dusty environment, it is better to use a car air purifier to clean the smoke or dust particles rather than to just distract yourself with pleasant fragrances from an air freshener. Lot of local and Chinese products are available in the market and using it may affect your health. I had a very funny and shocking experience when the air freshener bottle slipped and broken in to pieces by spreading the liquid over the floor where lot of ants were passing. Suddenly I noticed that it killed all the ants like a pesticide do. I realized how harmful it is to health in the long run. I suggest all the consumers to use air purifier rather than air freshener inside car. The consumers should also avoid using air freshners at home, especially if they have small kids. Use air freshener inside a car only when it is necessary as we are sitting inside a closed atmosphere and never operate it when infants are travelling along.
Several recent studies reveal that it is not safe to use these air freshners as they contain several harmful chemicals that is not good for the health of consumers. A common harmful ingredient of air fresheners is limonene. Limonene irritates eyes, mouth, skin. It can also cause dizziness. You may also be breathing petroleum distillates, which can irritate or damage your lungs. You may feel fatigue when your air freshener contains toluene. You can also find toxic chemicals such as methylformamide, terpinolene, methoxybenzaldehyde, and butanoic acid. There has also been a number of alarming reports from studies of animal (mice) responses to common household air fresheners, which have shown asthma like reactions on the animal's breathing system. There were also indications of neurotoxity, when the chemicals affected nervous system, causing odd behaviors. So, if you have eye irritation, headache or any other strange symptoms, check if you can trace those to any chemical air fresheners, either solid or liquid sprays, you use in your home or car. Just stop using air fresheners for some time and observe how you feel. And try to use natural air freshners such as sandalwood oil, jasmine oil, camphor and so on which are available in the market and that does not harm your health.