Air Fresheners and Your Lung May be A Bad Combination

September 11, 2006

23863564961.jpgAir fresheners are a commonplace in our cars. Unknowingly we may be damaging our lungs in the process.  What this new research has found is that the same chemical compounds that are used in air fresheners can also be found in toilet bowl cleaners as well as mothballs.

The study done by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), a part of the National Institutes of Health, published in the August issue of Environmental Health Perspectives showed that this compound called 1,4 dichlorobenzene (1,4 DCB) can cause modest reductions in lung function.

The Findings included:

1.  Of the different compounds emitted as gases, only the compound 1,4 DCB was associated with reduced pulmonary function.  This compound is the one used in most of our household products inlcuding room deodorizers, urinal and toilet bowl blocks, and as an insecticide fumigant for moth control.

2. A 4 percent decrease in the test which measures forced expiratory volume in 1(FEV1) second between the highest and lowest levels of exposure. FEV1 is a pulmonary function test that is a commonly used index for assessing airway function and obstruction.

This research data suggest that 1,4-DCB may exacerbate respiratory diseases.  As such, a decline in lung function no matter how small may be a big factor among patients especially our children who already have allergic cough or asthma. Chronic exposure of this substance can definitely result in harmful effect to their lungs.

Therefore, if you plan to stay indoor for the day…make sure you avoid any deodorizing agents in cleaning your house.  And if you do…be somewhere else at that time.  Likewise, if you ride the car with the kids with the air-conditioner on, throw away the air freshener…

Protect Your Lungs…Anyway Fresh Air Is Better!

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2 Responses to “Air Fresheners and Your Lung May be A Bad Combination”

  1. anita Says:

    dr. gerry. what can you say about the essential oil of the aroma lamp to the lungs.such as the eucalyptus, green tea and etc especially the bel air aroma lamp is promoted as therapeutic. in the western countries, this is taken as refresherner.please reply. thank you

  2. Doc Gerry Says:

    aromatherapy can be soothing and relaxing but just like anything else dont have it everyday. It does not have the same harmful effects though as the air fresheners that I’ve mentioned so enjoy these oils once in a while


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