The Surprising Reason Why Candles And Air Fresheners May Be Bad For Your Health

We all do everything we can do to keep our homes clean and safe.

When something is broken, we fix it, and when there’s a mess like the one created by this little kid who went crazy with some shaving cream we clean it up.

Unfortunately,there’s something in your home that works perfectly fine and seems like it’s helping you create a clean, comfortable home, when it’s actually putting your family’s health in danger.

Shockingly, recent research has shown that air fresheners and scented candles are creating indoor air pollution that may be contributingto the deaths ofthousands of people each year.

These are items we all have in our homes, and use to make the atmosphere seem clean and inviting, when in actuality, they might be making us sick.

Scroll through below to learn more about why these products are potentially dangerous, and what you can do to reverse anynegative effects.

[H/T:Daily Mail]

Whenever I want to create a festive atmosphere for a party or get into relaxation modefor a weekend at home, I like to lighta scented candle.

The warm glow and soft aroma of these air-freshening products look and feel so good that it’s hard to believe they could be putting dangerous toxins into the air.

But they may just be.

Ajoint study by the U.K.’s Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Healthto be published this weekwarns that at least 40,000 deaths a year in the U.K. can be linked to the effect of air pollution outside and inside the home.

According to the report, “Indoor air pollution may have caused or contributed to 99,000 deaths annually in Europe.”

This indoor air pollution can becaused by everything from chemical cleaners andboiler fumes to air fresheners and scented candles.

So what might be makingair fresheners, scented candles, and other common household products so toxic to our health?

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, which conducted its own in-depth study of common air fresheners, “the federal government does not currently test air fresheners for safety or require manufacturers to meet any specific safety standards.”

But that’s not all…

A 2007 study tested 74 air-freshening products and measured the concentration of VOCs in the air after use.

The results revealedmore than 350 different chemicals and allergens, including (but not limited to) benzene, formaldehyde, styrene, and phthalates, a particularly toxic chemical thatmay affect hormones and reproductive development, particularly in babies.

Unfortunately,you’re unlikely tosee phthalate on an ingredient label; itll just say “fragrance” or perhaps “parfum.”

Now you might be thinking: “There’s a ton of pollution outsidefrom cars, factories, and oil and gas drilling. Surely that’s worse than a few chemicals from a scented candle.”

But there’s something else you may beforgetting. Outside, these substances are free to move about the planet, diluted by the wind. This isn’t the case inside.

Our homes are incredibly well-sealed and insulated, specifically designed to keep outside air from getting in, and vice versa.

When these toxic substancesare introducedinto the home via sprays or scented candles, they’re trapped. They can buildup over time, forcing us to breathe higher and higher concentrations of chemical toxins.

So what’s the safe solution for a home that smells like bacon or wet dog?

Instead of reaching for a can of chemicals, experts suggest simply throwing open a window and letting real fresh air do its job.

If you need something faster, or are looking to set the mood with a specific scent, try DIY-ing your own natural air freshener using essential oils and baking soda.

And if you’re worried about toxins that may have built up in your home from past air freshener use, check out this post about houseplants that double as air purifiers!

Are you surprisedthat air fresheners and scented candles could potentially be so toxic? How do you purify the air in your home? Let us know in the comments.

Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/toxic-air-fresheners/