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Air Fresheners - the hidden dangers

Most of us are familiar with outdoor air pollution, but did you know that the air inside our homes can be more toxic than the air outside?


Air fresherner
Air fresherner

We're all familiar with air fresheners... They're everywhere: in offices, schools, restrooms, stores, homes, and even taxis. We can find them in various designs: electronic, automatic, gels, sprays, hanging air fresheners as utilised in cars, etc. Unfortunately, there is no legislation or quality control on these products, so even though some boast the words 'Natural', 'Organic', 'Green' in their name, in most cases it is just a marketing gimmick.

Many studies confirm that air fresheners emit or cause the production of a range of substances associated with negative health effects. For many people, they are the trigger for:

  • Headaches

  • Respiratory problems

  • Allergic reactions such as watery eyes, repeated sneezing and coughing

Further studies have confirmed other and much more worrying health problems associated with air fresheners:

  • Neurotoxicity - they toxic to our nervous systems

  • Negative effect on our endocrine system (hormonal)

  • And even some types of cancer


One simple measure to improve the air quality in your home is to switch from conventional air fresheners to healthier options. That's because in studies measuring the different substances that air fresheners emit, scientists have found a number of chemicals linked to toxic effects. These include: volatile organic compounds (VOCs), benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, m,p-xylene, phthalates and more.


A brilliant alternative to conventional air fresheners:

Essential oils (EO)!! It is a gift from nature that not only freshens the air, but has a positive effect on our health. We can ingest them through the use of  diffusers, put a few drops on the potpourri, or now, in the winter months, in a bowl of water placed on the heater.

A simple recipe for an odour absorber follows below.


Buy good quality essential oils from reputable retailers such as the Essential Oils Company where I used to buy from when we lived in the UK, they are more expensive but worth it. Many cheap essential oils are just synthetic substitutes and can do more harm than good.


My favourite essential oil at the moment is red orange. Not only is its scent sweetly refreshing, but more importantly it promotes spontaneity, creativity and optimism. It can help lift our spirits on dreary winter days.


Odour eliminator - Homemade spray in 5 minutes without chemicals


Home made natural air freshener
Home made natural air freshener

  • 20 drops of EO Cinnamon

  • 10 drops EO Lemongrass (or your favourite citrus EO - orange, grapefruit, lemon, etc. )

  • 10 drops EO Cypress (or pine, spruce, cedar, etc.)

  • 5 drops EO Eucalyptus (works with mint too)

  • 1 tablespoon of clear alcohol (Vodka)

  • Distilled water (I use boiled tap water)

  • 50ml Spray Bottle

Mix everything together and shake well and use knowing that it will do no harm….


Be healthier this year!

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