Our local television news last week had an item about the toxins in air fresheners. I always have to remind myself that the general public isn’t aware of things like this – so it really is news to many people.
The news article was based on research by Anne Steinemann, a University of Washington professor of civil and environmental engineering and public affairs. She did a study of some top-selling laundry products and air fresheners after having many people tell how these products made them sick. Her study found nearly 100 volatile organic compounds were emitted from the six products studied. And, of course, none of them were listed on the labels.
I found this article from the University of Washington News that gave pretty much the facts of the study:
Toxic chemicals found in common scented laundry products, air fresheners
It references the following 3 articles. As I read through them, I saw certain biases. One article was quick to point out that 2 of the items found in the products were no longer considered carcinogens. It seemed they threw that in to downplay all of the findings. Other articles quote Fragrance Industry bigwigs saying that everything used is safe at the levels they are used. How do they know that? If something is a carcinogen, is there really a safe exposure level?
To my way of thinking, they should be required to list ALL of the ingredients and let the public decide. Some of us already are. I know I only buy products that I can read the full ingredients on. Perhaps we all need to be more vocal about this to the companies that make these products?