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Killed my plants & upset my cat - air fresheners stink!

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posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 12:34 PM
So...About 8 months ago I started buying plug-in air fresheners and loved them so much I had them in 5 different rooms in the house….The only rooms I didn’t have them were the bedrooms and bathrooms. I loved the smell even more than the perfume I wear

A few months later I noticed my house-plants were dying on me…. Plants which I’ve had for years and which were previously thriving…

Also, around the same time my cat, who’s a fairly old lady, started acting oddly – miawing constantly, including a scary ‘wow wow’ like noise and scratching all the time leaving nasty little sores... We had her checked out and apart from being fairly deaf and having dodgy kidneys they couldn’t find anything wrong with her… She lost her brother a year ago so we put it down to her simply missing him…

It was driving me demented and I wondered if there was something in the air that was responsible....Maybe radiation particles from Fukushima
Or maybe the water was responsible... But my cat had been on bottled water for months so that didn't add up... I wondered if I should start a thread on ATS to maybe find some answers..

Then, a couple of months ago, after my fella complained the smell was too strong and was giving him a headache, I started reading about plug-in air fresheners and was horrified to read how toxic they can be.. To be honest I felt really, REALLY stupid for not even considering what they were doing to our health and needless to say they all went straight in the bin…

Now…My cat is much more back to normal miaw-wise and the scratching has completely stopped, yay!

Plus, my house plants aren’t in the same state of decline and are showing signs of recovery, although my beautiful huge palm is beyond help and that really annoys me… I loved that plant

The brand I was using doesn’t list the ingredients, how on earth are we supposed to know what we’re breathing in and what it’s doing to our health and our environment? Excuse the pun but something doesn’t smell right!

Please ATS, if anyone here has been having similar problems with your plants, your pets or even your own health - and you use air fresheners, plug-ins or whatever - get rid of them and see what happens!

Edit - I know I can't prove our plug-in air fresheners are slowing killing us...But surely it can't be just a coincidence... Has anyone else experienced anything like this I wonder?

edit on 26-9-2012 by paradisepurple because: /

posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 12:39 PM
Wow! That is good information to have. I never thought about air fresheners being toxic before, but I can see how they could be. I hope your cat is fully recovered now and that it didn't cause any permanent damage to any organs.

posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 12:40 PM
reply to post by paradisepurple

Dont use them, its getting in deep

atomized poison

posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 12:41 PM
That is very interesting, but are you certain that is what it was? I have a few plug in air fresheners and a battery powered one that squirts it into the air and have never had any troubles. I have many many house plants, all very healthy, four cats.. also healthy.

I have found that I prefer the glade oil candles over the plug ins though.

posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 12:43 PM
Interesting. I purchased a plug in scented oil air freshener a week or so ago. Last couple of days I have been feeling dizzy. I even thought about may be oxygen depletion from heating source and or carbon monoxide. I will have to test out if possibly from that air freshener. Thanks

posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 12:50 PM
reply to post by nobody you know

Thank you and my god, I hope not

posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 12:51 PM
Will never buy them again!!! The stupid one I bought, started an electrical fire. Had to replace the outlet and repaint the wall. I was reading up about that, when I also learned they were toxic.

Just bad all around.

posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 12:53 PM

Originally posted by HiGilgamesh
reply to post by paradisepurple

Dont use them, its getting in deep

atomized poison

I have to agree given what's being going on.... I want as many people as possible to be aware that they may cause serious problems... Lets be honest, the manufacturers arn't going to warn us are they, not when they're making so much money

posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 12:56 PM
Sounds like you went way overboard with the air freshners. One might have been sufficient and not caused a problem, but you got quite a few of them and saturated your place with scent. It's just like alcohol. One drink will leave you feeling kind of mellow. Many drinks will make you drunk. Everything in moderation.

My cats killed my plants and upset me - cats stink!

posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 12:57 PM
reply to post by MaMaa

I'm so glad you haven't had any problems and your cats are happy!

The thing is, I have absolutely no proof other than what I have experienced... And I've yet to find anyone else who has had the same problems.. But I honestly don't know what else it can be

I do wonder if it's because I had so many of them.. Maybe it was over-kill... But the manufacturers don't warn you that over-use can cause problems... I wonder if I should approach them about it actually...

posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 01:01 PM
I can't stand when people use a ton of air freshener in their home. Always makes me think of a truck stop bathroom.

I also can't stand people that use so much perfume/cologne that you can smell them coming. Scents should be applied so they are enjoyed by the people who get under your clothes, not so they choke everyone waiting in line at the DMV around you.

Scented candles are great, especially when they're never lit. But nothing makes your house smell more fresh than regular cleaning and airing out.

Sorry about your plants and your cats - imagine what that crap was doing to your lungs and if you have them, your kids. =\

posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 01:02 PM
reply to post by bourbon2nite

I wouldn't be surprised... Let me know if it improves.... This could be interesting...

BUT definitely make sure the carbon-dioxide levels are ok first & foremost

posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 01:05 PM
reply to post by chiefsmom

Oh god, nightmare! Yeah, I read that they could also be a fire hazard, another reason not to buy them. Horrible dangerous toxic things that they are

posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 01:06 PM
I'm pretty sure I read that all commercial air fresheners are toxic. Including those synthetic 'wax' scented candles.

If my house needs a freshen up, I take a sauce pan with some water, vinegar and spices (allspice, cloves, cinnamon, flowers, leaves that smell nice- whatever you want) and put that on the stove to simmer and it makes the house stink pretty in no time. No toxic chemicals.


Basic ingredients in air fresheners typically include formaldehyde, aerosol propellant, petroleum distillates, and p-dichlorobenzene. Air freshener preparations often also include terpenes such as limonene. Aldehydes, ketones, esters, alcohols and other synthetic fragrances are also used. A report issued in 2005 by the Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs (BEUC) found that many air freshener products emit allergens and toxic air pollutants including benzene, formaldehyde, terpenes, styrene, phthalates, and toluene.[2] Air fresheners may also contain phosphates, chlorine bleach, or ammonia.

Research at the University of California found that the prominent products of the reaction of terpenes found in air fresheners with ozone included formaldehyde, hydroxyl radical, and secondary organic aerosol.[3]


Many air fresheners employ carcinogens, volatile organic compounds and known toxins such as phthalate esters in their formulas. A Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) study of 13 common household air fresheners found that most of the surveyed products contain chemicals that can aggravate asthma and affect reproductive development. The NRDC called for more rigorous supervision of the manufacturers and their products, which are widely assumed to be safe:

The study assessed scented sprays, gels, and plug-in air fresheners. Independent lab testing confirmed the presence of phthalates, or hormone-disrupting chemicals that may pose a particular health risk to babies and young children, in 12 of the 14 products—including those marked 'all natural.' None of the products had these chemicals listed on their labels.[4]

On September 19, 2007, along with the Sierra Club, Alliance for Healthy Homes, and the National Center for Healthy Housing, the NRDC filed a petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Product Safety Commission to report the findings.[5]

The University of Bristol's Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) published findings indicating that exposure to volatile organic compounds through frequent use of air fresheners and other aerosols in the home was found to correlate with increased earaches and diarrhea in infants, and with increased depression and headaches in their mothers.[6][7]

In 2008, Anne Steinemann of the University of Washington published a study of top-selling air fresheners and laundry products.[8][9] She found that all products tested gave off chemicals regulated as toxic or hazardous under federal laws, including carcinogens with no safe exposure level, but none of these chemicals were listed on any of the product labels or Material Safety Data Sheets. Chemicals included acetone, the active ingredient in paint thinner and nail-polish remover; chloromethane, a neurotoxicant and respiratory toxicant; and acetaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, both carcinogens. A plug-in air freshener contained more than 20 different volatile organic compounds, with more than one-third classified as toxic or hazardous under federal laws. Even air fresheners called "organic," "green," or with "essential oils" emitted hazardous chemicals, including carcinogens.

In 2009, Stanley M. Caress of the University of West Georgia and Anne C. Steinemann of the University of Washington published results from two national epidemiological studies of health effects from exposure to air fresheners. They found that nearly 20 percent of the general population and 34 percent of asthmatics report headaches, breathing difficulties, or other health problems when exposed to air fresheners or deodorizers.

From here
edit on 26-9-2012 by Hushabye because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 01:12 PM
reply to post by schuyler

You're so right and yeah, maybe I did go overboard... Maybe the manufacturers should warn us about it! I may contact them actually...

And cats do not stink

posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 01:18 PM
reply to post by TinkerHaus

My house doesn't smell bad, I have a bit of an OCD about cleaning & didn't actually need the air fresheners...But it was such a nice comforting smell - Clean Linen... I really miss it actually

Thanks for your kind words

posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 01:28 PM
reply to post by Hushabye

Thanks! I've been looking into natural alternatives and will definitely try that! Maybe with a couple of slices of lemon aswell

That was depressing reading and it really scares me, the amount of chemicals we're all ingesting and absorbing with our cleaning products and toiletries

posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 01:52 PM

Originally posted by paradisepurple
reply to post by schuyler

You're so right and yeah, maybe I did go overboard... Maybe the manufacturers should warn us about it! I may contact them actually...

And cats do not stink

Oh, yeah? This one:

stinks. Trust me. And he kills house plants. And he draws blood. And he climbs curtains. And he walks on the keybovgdgs89tgklkhvb.f.

This one

is worse.
edit on 9/26/2012 by schuyler because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 02:30 PM
Its probably the limonene in the air fresheners.Its known to give rats cancer so watch out for your cat and plants.
Its in lots of cleaning products so if you are a cleaning freak that's probably your answer.
I learned about it when learning to grow ' medicinal' plants,cough,cough.

posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 02:34 PM
Air freshners clog my sinuses up. Strange about your plants - they can usually withstand a lot of air pollution - just have a look at all those plants in the cities and along major highways. There must really be some potent poison in those air freshners.

As an alternative, why not get fragrant plants like lemon thyme, lemon balm, lemon verbena, even a lemon or orange tree in a pot? You can also try citronella geranium (its a scented geranium/ pelargonium that smells like citronella and has pink flowers as opposed to the citronella grass). I think you get scented catnip too, but you will have to put it in a cage to stop your cat from flattening it.

Or what about those sachet thingies that have dried herbs, rose petals etc in them? Or if you have no more space for plants you can use the pure essential oils and put some oil drops on handkerchiefs and leave them lying around?

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