Do you know a mist of air freshener or the burning of a deliciously-scented candle in your home is a "sweet" and a slow poison to you and your loved ones?
The most popular fragranced products used at homes/offices that pose health hazard are:
What do these fragranced products contain, and why are they harmful to health?
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
VOCs are volatile organic chemicals or gases that are released into our environment (both indoors and outdoors) from products or processes. The exposure to VOC content may have adverse effects on our health, both short- and long-term (Figure 1).
A team of researchers at the University of Washington, Seattle detected 133 different VOCs emitting from 25 common fragranced household products. The researchers used gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to analyze VOCs released from the products. Of these 133 VOCs, 24 are classified as toxic or hazardous under U.S. federal laws, and each product emitted at least one of these compounds.
VOCs contain hazardous carcinogenic chemicals like formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, limonene, acetaldehyde, 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde, or methylene chloride. The people whose lungs are already susceptible such as asthma sufferers and children (less developed metabolic system) are most likely to develop life-threatening symptoms after exposure to these nasty chemicals.
How can you reduce the levels of VOCs in your home?
Share in the comments the efforts you are putting in to make your home "VOCs-proof".