Can Air Fresheners Cause Allergy and Asthma Symptoms?

– By Dr. Craig Burns, D.C.  A BioVeda Health and Wellness Center

Time to rethink our use of common household chemicals!

A chemical called 1,4-dichlorobenzene, or 1,4-DCB, could harm your lungs, and at the very least trigger asthma and allergy symptoms.

It is found in air fresheners, toilet deodorizers, and mothballs, and is present in the blood of nearly all Americans. 1,4-DCB is the chemical that gives mothballs their distinctive smell.

The finding came as part of a National Institutes of Health study that looked at 11 household chemicals. All 11 chemicals are emitted as gasses by common household products. 1,4-DCB was the only chemical in the study which was linked to lung damage.

Those who had the highest amounts of the chemical in their blood showed diminished lung function, which could be serious for those with asthma or other lung problems. Reduced lung function is also a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.

Air fresheners have been linked to cancer in the past, and this new study may demonstrate one reason why. It really is quite amazing that this chemical found in air fresheners, 1,4-dichlorobenzene, is present in the blood of 96 percent of Americans.

This is especially alarming as this toxic chemical has been associated with so many health problems. In general you want to avoid having any benzene derivative chemicals in your body as they have very similar toxic side effects.

It’s best to avoid using any chemicals in your home. However, that is a nearly impossible achievement in this day and age. What you can do, however, is limit your exposure as much as possible.

Artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners or other synthetic fragrances can pollute the air you are breathing, with 1,4-DCB and other chemicals. If you are using air fresheners because you like the scent, therapeutic essential oils are an excellent and safe alternative. And, this is just the tip of the iceberg. A person can significantly improve their health by rethinking their use of typical household chemicals… the possibilities are endless.

NOTE: Eliminating your use of air fresheners is just one of the many ways you can reduce your body’s CHEMICAL BURDEN (exposure to chemicals that are harmful to your health). You may never have thought that air fresheners could be unhealthy, but now you know.

To read another great article about chemicals in the home click here!

~Results may vary from patient to patient. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If pregnant or nursing, ask a health professional before use. If symptoms persist or worsen, seek advice of physician.