New research compiled by scientists from Emory University in Atlanta, USA , suggests that various chemical additives in air fresheners can trigger allergies, asthma and other health problems."The chemicals in some of these products can trigger the nasal congestion, sneezing and the runny nose," said Dr. Stanley Fineman, an allergist who helped gather data for the study. "With the asthmatics, there's really good data showing their lung function changes when they're exposed to these compounds."
Many scented air freshener products contain harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, benzene and limonene, which are known to trigger asthma and other respiratory symptoms, as well as eye irritation, bone damage and leukemia. They also contain various other toxic ingredients like benzyl alcohol, dichlorobenzene, naphthalene, phenol and pinene. Even some scented products labeled "natural" contain harmful ingredients like phthalates that can build up in the liver and fatty tissue over time. Phthalate exposure is linked to low sperm counts and reproductive damage. This is why it is always a good idea, even with "natural" products, to verify all ingredients with product manufacturers prior to purchasing them.