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Intoxicating Affair with Air Fresheners

As with most of the products we use daily, we have become more stringent in our selections and buying decisions. More and more manufacturers are known to maximize every single cent they can without hesitating to compromise consumer’s safety.

Unlike food or medications that we consume directly into our system, air fresheners are not so strictly regulated, or perhaps not at all.

Based on the article featured in The Star (9-Sep-2013), a lab test conducted in Bukit Jelutong by Malaysia Association of Standards Users (MASU) reveals that from the 6 brands of air fresheners tested, none of them listed the ingredients used in the manufacturing process.

The Star - Sweet Scent of Danger

The Star - Sweet Scent of Danger

However, what’s more shocking are the results of these tests.

i) 3 of the products are found to contain toluene, with one of it containing up to 1.3mg/kg.

ii) 4 of the products are found to contain phtalates (pronounced “THAL-ates”).

iii) 1 of the products is found to contain extremely high level of Diethyle Phtalates (517mg/kg).

iv) Some of the products are found to contain several types of phtalates, which is even more dangerous.

v) A local brand is found to contain the highest content of harmful chemicals- it has toluene and 3 types of phthalates.

The results are based on 100ml of the product.

Here’s an excerpt from Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on how Phthalates endangers our reproductive system:

Phthalates are hormone-disrupting chemicals that can be particularly dangerous for young children and unborn babies. Exposure to phthalates can affect testosterone levels and lead to reproductive abnormalities, including abnormal genitalia and reduced sperm production. The State of California notes that five types of phthalates — including one that we found in air freshener products — are ‘known to cause birth defects or reproductive harm.

Read the full press release here.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), toulene is :

…added to gasoline, used to produce benzene, and used as a solvent. Exposure to toluene may occur from breathing ambient or indoor air affected by such sources. The central nervous system (CNS) is the primary target organ for toluene toxicity in both humans and animals for acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) exposures. CNS dysfunction and narcosis have been frequently observed in humans acutely exposed to elevated airborne levels of toluene; symptoms include fatigue, sleepiness, headaches, and nausea.

Read the full article here.

Unfortunately, the article in The Star did not reveal the actual brands tested and what makes matter worse is that the relevant authorities do not think that these findings warrant further actions. So, this only means that if you are using air fresheners in your cars, homes or work spaces, you are fully responsible to ensure that you find out for yourselves whether you are using any of the air fresheners which has been found to contain those dangerous chemicals.

From my personal experience of spilling one of the solvent-based air fresheners on my car’s dashboard, the fact that the dashboard (made of ABS plastic) was discolored by the corrosive spilled air freshener says a lot about how ‘safe’ it is.

As suggested by MASU, you can always switch to using natural alternatives such as pandan leaves, lemongrass or charcoals.

Pandan Leaves

Or if none of the above suits your olfactory senses, then may I suggest that you look into the range of air fresheners from California Scents that has been proven and tested to be consumer and environmental-friendly by Enviro-Kleen.

And here’s what Enviro-Kleen is all about:

Enviro-Kleen is a third party “green” certification program offered by ChemTel Inc. to address the growing need to distinguish items for the consumers that are environmentally friendly. The products are tested for Sensitization, Carcinogenicity, Mutagenicity, Reproductive Toxicity, Environmental Persistence, Aquatic Toxicity, other Hazard Characteristics, compliance with IFRA guidelines, compliance with E.U (European Union) and general compliance with Enviro-Kleen Standards. Visit www.Enviro-Kleen.org for more information on the program.

California Scents comes in various packagings for household and automotive use. They even have a range of pet-friendly fragrances. At the time of this writing, there are 75 fragrances to choose from and new fragrances and packages are regularly introduced over time.


California Scents - Fragrances List

fragrance-fresh
Fresh and Clean

  • Celebration
  • Emerald Bay
  • Fresh Linen
  • Garden Mist
  • Golden State Delight
  • Hurricane Breeze
  • Ice
  • Island Linen
  • Island Palms
  • Laguna Breeze
  • Lightning Linen
  • Newport New Car
  • Ocean Breeze
  • Ocean Wave
  • Route 66
  • Seaside Surf
  • Sequoia Mist
  • Smoke Away
  • Tahoe Powder
  • Yosemite Springs

fragrance-cherry
Fruits & Flavors

  • Apple Valley
  • Avalon Apple Cider
  • Balboa Bubblegum
  • Bel-Air Blueberry
  • Caliente Coffee
  • Capistrano Coconut
  • Cherry Blossom
  • Cinnamon Apple
  • Cinnamon Coast
  • Citrus Splash
  • Citrus Twist
  • Concord Cranberry
  • Coronado Cherry
  • Exotic Cherry
  • Exotic Coconut
  • Fresh Berries
  • Hollywood Tropicana
  • La Jolla Lemon
  • Malibu Melon
  • Melon Mango
  • Mojave Mango
  • Monterey Vanilla
  • Napa Grape
  • Orange Squeeze
  • Orchard Apple
  • Pacifica Peach
  • Palisades Pina Colada
  • Palm Springs Pineapple
  • Paradise Berries
  • Pomberry Crush
  • Santa Barbara Berry
  • Shasta Strawberry
  • Strawberries & Cream
  • Tangerine Tango
  • Twister Berry
  • Verri Berry
  • Vista Grapefruit
  • Volcanic Cherry

fragrance-bloom
Blooms & Blossoms

  • Aloe Blossom
  • Bamboo Orchid
  • Blossom
  • Desert Jasmine
  • Gardenia Del Mar
  • Hawaiian Gardens
  • LA Lavender
  • Lavender Fields
  • Midnight Jasmine
  • Mimosa Sunrise
  • Orange Blossom
  • Pasadena Rose
  • Ponderosa Pine
  • Sierra Meadows
  • Spring Meadow
  • Squash Blossom
  • Typhoon Blossom

 

Though the fragrances are made of 100% natural ingredients, not all of them are Enviro-Kleen certified. The ones with the Enviro-Kleen certifications, usually the top-selling fragrances, would have this logo on their labels:

enviro-kleen-logo-on-california-scents

Disclaimer: Fasmoto.com is a distributor for California Scents products in Malaysia.

2015-10-18T13:24:06+00:00 September 25th, 2015|Air Fresheners|0 Comments

Why choose California Scents Car Air Freshener?

Sweet Smeel of Danger Facebook Post ScreenshotA recent post on Facebook was forwarded to me and I wasn’t at all surprised. I’ve been preaching for ages that we should look into the contents of air fresheners as some of them smell…how do I put it…chemical-ish??? Bare in mind though, I did not do any testing on any of the mentioned products. However, I question why aren’t the information already available. I’m thinking its time someone takes some kind of action on this.

Upon further digging, I found a couple more articles related to this. All of them strangely from The Star.

 

http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2013/09/09/A-not-so-innoscent-product-Tests-on-air-fresheners-show-high-levels-of-dangerous-chemicals/

 http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2013/09/09/Standards-Msia-Grouses-already-aired-but-no-action-taken-yet/

 http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2013/09/09/Packaging-on-air-fresheners-does-not-list-out-chemicals-used/

This is why I only use California Scents. Not because they are better than the competition. That would be hard to prove as it is rather ambiguous, but due to the fact that they very proudly advertise the safe aspect of their product and also the certifications they have. As a consumer, that is as much as I can depend on to make a “best” judgement.

 

California Scents Pure

If you check out their website, you will see that they claim to make their products from pure, natural and organic ingredients. They also point out the fact that whats not in their product is what differentiates them.

 

Let’s take a look at the other side of ‘pure’ and what is not present in our ingredients; extenders, dilutents, and hydrocarbon solvents.

 

And here’s a little bit about compliance and certification.

California Scents’ dedication to pure has earned the Enviro Kleen Certification on many of its products. Further assuring the consumer that California Scents’ products have been tested and comply with both IFRA and EU standards and the Green standards set by ChemTel Inc.

 

Made in USAThey also go to great lengths to mention how they are Made in USA and also enviromental friendly. Read more about it here.

 

http://californiascents.com/

2015-10-18T13:02:12+00:00 September 15th, 2015|Air Fresheners, Guides|0 Comments