If you still use normal air fresheners in your car, you should be aware that it can cause a variety of health problems. In a study conducted in 2007, 74 different products designed to refresh the air in the car were tested. The study identified more than 350 toxic chemicals and allergens, including phthalates, benzene and formaldehyde.
Phthalates are esters of phthalic acid, and aliphatic alcohols. They are volatile liquids which are added to the polymer in plastics to increase their flexibility. Recent studies confirm the increasingly adverse effects of phthalates on both humans and the global environment. Phthalates act on the human body like hormone disrupters, which means that they disrupt the balance of hormones in living organisms. Moreover, there is evidence of their carcinogenicity, which is primarily manifested in the form of malignant breast cancer, and testicular cancer. Phthalates also cause a variety of abnormalities in testicular tissue and reduce fertility in men, and are also possible causes of asthma attack.
Benzene is an important industrial solvent and is also used as source material for the production of drugs, plastics, synthetic rubber and dyes. Exposure to benzene causes liver, kidney, lung, heart and brain damage, alters the DNA and chromosomes, long-term exposure to high concentrations of benzene in the air can cause leukemia.
Formaldehyde is a colorless gas having a pungent odor, which is well soluble in water. Inhalation may cause headache, sore throat and breathing problems, but can also trigger or exacerbate asthma attack. It is classified as a possible carcinogen in humans. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that there is sufficient evidence that occupational exposure to formaldehyde may cause cancer in the nose and throat.
Try using essential oils
You can make air freshener at home, so you know exactly what it contains without having harmful effects on your health. You need a small jar, baking soda and essential oil of your choice. Baking soda will absorb the odors, while the car will be pleasantly perfumed from the oil. Make few holes on the metal lid, so the air can circulate. Fill the jar with baking soda and drop about 30 drops of the essential oil and close with the perforated lid.
Peppermint essential oil has a refreshing effect; moreover, it helps to keep you awake. Lavender essential oil calms, lemon essential oil, however, like peppermint has invigorating effect. There are various essential oils, just find the one that suits you and create a healthy environment in your car.