Your Air Freshener Could Be Putting Your Heart at Risk — Here Are 4 Safer Alternatives
Such products are incredibly popular, as who doesn’t want their abode to small like a flowery meadow or pine forest? The reality is that these artificial means of scenting our homes may come with a high price – the health of our hearts.
New research published in Environmental Health Perspectives finds that one squirt per day of an air freshener or several hours around a lit scented candle every day might be harming the heart irreparably. What’s more is that even those who only used an air freshener once a week displayed adverse heart effects.
The Swiss research involved 581 adults over the age of 50. Participants were questioned regarding their use of air fresheners, scented household products and cleaning products, and afterwards the electrical activity of their hearts were monitored 24 hours to assess heart rate variability, an indication of cardiovascular health. The most disturbing discovery was linked with air fresheners, finding that women who used them the most frequently had the highest likelihood of having hearts that failed to respond quickly to different demands, such as stress.
Author Amar J. Mehta is uncertain of the reason for this effect but postulates that ingredients in air fresheners react with ozone, a typical indoor air pollutant, to form chemicals that damage the heart. Terpenes, compounds present in a common type of citrus and pine scented products reacts with ozone in the home to form aldehydes, toxic substances associated with heart disease and diabetes.
So what to do? Must we deprive ourselves of homes that small wonderful for the sake of safeguarding our hearts? Not at all. Ditch the air fresheners and candles in favor of these natural alternatives that are effective and smell far better than cloying artificial products.
- Simmer a bowl of potpourri in a pot on the stove using spices, flavorings and other common ingredients from your kitchen. Include cinnamon, cloves and allspice, along with vanilla extract and the peel from an orange or lemon.
- Beeswax candles clear the air rather than pollute it. Additionally, they are available in scents derived from essential oils.
- Unglazed clay bottle diffusers permit you to place a few drops of an essential oil inside, which slowly wafts out into the air. Try a refreshing scent like lavender.
- Some common houseplants are natural air purifiers. Try Aloe Vera, Rubber Plant and English Ivy, as well as Boston Fern, Philodendron and Spider Plant.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.
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Article updated on: May 16th, 2012