Researchers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) say that potentially harmful smog could accumulate inside homes through the reactions caused by electric air-fresheners and ozone. Experts believed the reactions produced formaldehyde, which is classified as a probable carcinogen that is believed to cause respiratory problems.
Experts advised against the use of air fresheners in the home and suggested trying to prevent the smells that you were trying to cover up in the first place.
A study found that mixing ozone and air freshening chemicals produced particles of formaldehyde-related compounds at a concentration level of approximately 50 micrograms in each cubic meter of air. This measurement was nearly equivalent to the EPA's outdoor particle limit, which is considered to be an unhealthy level of particle exposure.
Experts stated similar particles came out of the exhaust systems of vehicles and have been linked to respiratory problems. One environmental scientist said a possible solution to the problem was for air freshener manufacturers to change their formulas and use fewer chemicals.
Nature May 10, 2004
It's best not to introduce any chemicals into your home--and this includes air fresheners.
If you are trying to eliminate unpleasant scents try to prevent them from occurring in the first place, and if you are using air fresheners because you like the scent you could try therapeutic essential oils instead.
Most essential oils have antibacterial qualities and have varying physical and emotional effects depending on the oil, such as stimulation, relaxation, pain relief and healing. More importantly they don't produce harmful chemicals like traditional air fresheners that could result in respiratory problems.
If you had a chance to read my previous article on the 2004 Lung Association Report on Air Quality, then you know that there are enough problems with air quality outside of your home--there's no need to create more problems with the air inside of your home by using chemical air fresheners.