Air FreshenersWhat You Need To Know

Most air fresheners are hardly fresh. Instead, they contain a lot of synthetic chemicals that can actually harm your health, rather than clean the air.

What To Avoid
Fragrance:Hundreds, or even thousands of chemicals, can be lumped under the term “fragrance.” Many companies do not have to disclose the specific chemicals they used, claiming they are proprietary. Among several concerns in synthetic Fragrances, many contain Phthalates to boost the scent’s staying power. One such common phthalate is Diethyl phthalate (dep). Some chemicals listed as “fragrance” are suspected, or even known to increase risk of cancer (be Carcinogenic). Others may contribute to reproductive and brain development problems.
Essential oils:Two pure Essential oils, tea tree and lavender have been shown to have Estrogenic properties that could disrupt hormones and impact reproductive health. Other Essential oils have not been tested yet for these properties, so it is unknown whether or not there may be reason for concern. However, in some cases, some Essential oils may have therapeutic benefits that outweigh concerns.
Aerosol sprays:Aerosol sprays no longer contain ozone-depleting chemicals, which were banned in the 1970s, but most still have hydrocarbons and/or compressed gases that contribute to global warming. They also emit Volatile organic compounds (vocs) which include hundreds of chemicals that get into the air and your body when you breathe. These may impact reproductive and immune systems, and the brain, as well as trigger possible skin irritation, nausea, and headaches. Some VOCs are associated with an increased risk of cancer.
Safer Choices
Skip it!Simply don’t use air fresheners. If you make sure the diaper pail is empty, then you likely don’t need any fresheners.
Non-aerosol and No VOCs:Choose products that are non-aerosol and do not contain volatile organic compounds.
Fresh flowers:If it’s in your budget, treat yourself to some fresh flowers, bunches of mint, dried lavender, or cinnamon sticks to help bring sweeter smells into your home.
Find Safer Products
Websites and Apps:
Clearya is a free browser extension and app that notifies you when there are unsafe ingredients in your makeup, personal care, baby care, cleaning and other products, and helps you find safe products.
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics - Nontoxic Black Beauty Project
They offer a list and database of non-toxic beauty products made and sold by Black-owned companies that are committed to toxic-free beauty and personal care products.
Detox Me
This app allows you to scan barcodes on products to find relevant tips. They also offer a buying guide to decode product labels and find non-toxic alternatives.
Environmental Working Group (EWG)
EWG has a "Skin Deep" database that rates personal care and beauty products based on their safety and toxicity levels. EWG also offers a Healthy Living app that allows you to scan barcodes and find safer products.
Think Dirty
This app and website allow you to scan or search for personal care products to see their ingredient safety ratings.