Experts warn against using air fresheners

Posted on January 2, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

A coalition of environmental groups wants the EPA to require companies to provide information on air freshener ingredients.

Experts warn that some popular air fresheners may contain dangerous chemicals, and some say we shouldn’t use these fresheners until we know for sure.

Air fresheners are a $1.7 billion industry. You can find them in an estimated 75 percent of American homes, and they are liberally sprayed to cover the slightest odors.

“Air fresheners have a lot of issues. There’s a number of chemicals; there’s pthalates, there’s terpines,” said Tom Watson, King County EcoConsumer.

For years, Watson has been urging people to give up common air fresheners. And so are other groups, saying we just don’t know what’s in them.

“These manufacturers are actually not required to put on the label exactly what’s in the product,” said Jessica Fromman of the Sierra Club.

The Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Alliance for Healthy Homes and the National Center for Healthy Housing want the EPA to require companies to:

– provide EPA with consumers’ reports of health problems associated with air fresheners

– submit copies of existing health and safety studies on the products

– test the products for their potential impacts on people’s respiratory systems

– label products containing phthalates, a particularly dangerous class of chemicals

The EPA has already found problems with so-called ozone air fresheners and has asked for information on the aerosol sprays.

Meanwhile, manufacturers like SC Johnson reject any safety fears. Read on here by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

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