Fears have been raised regarding the link between plug-in air fresheners and cancer compounds.
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