Ban the Use of Toxic Chemicals in Air Fresheners

Target: Jonathan Edwards, Director of the EPA’s Office of Radiation and Indoor Air

Goal: Stop companies from putting formaldehyde and other harmful substances in air fresheners.

Unbeknownst to consumers, many commonly used air fresheners contain harmful chemicals, some of which can even cause cancer. Cleaning products aren’t regulated by the FDA, since they’re not meant to be ingested, yet breathing in these toxic chemicals can’t be healthy. Formaldehyde is just one alarming ingredient found in air fresheners, even though it’s known to be highly toxic. The main form of exposure is inhalation, and it takes hours to break down. Phthalates and acetone are also common ingredients. This information is alarming to say the least. Some of the symptoms experienced from inhaling these chemicals are skin, eye and throat irritation, lightheadedness, and nausea.

The exposure may be small and infrequent, but carcinogens can build up in the body over time, leading to health problems much later. Phthalates in particular can lead to birth defects, something that most parents would never attribute to their use of common housekeeping items months earlier. Sign this petition to demand the ban of harmful chemicals in air fresheners.


Dear Mr. Edwards,

Clean air is a basic human right and companies shouldn’t be allowed to sell carcinogen-laden air fresheners. Their ingredients often include formaldehyde, acetone, phthalates, and other toxic chemicals, disregarding the risks of ingesting these substances. No one should have to worry that simply spraying something to deodorize their home will lead to them developing cancer or their child having birth defects. profits are being put ahead of people’s safety.

We cannot allow toxins to be sprayed into the air anymore, especially when the potentially lethal effects are not readily apparent. It’s difficult to link symptoms to aerosol sprays when the chemicals take so long to accumulate in the body, but that does not mean there aren’t connections to be drawn. These products are meant to be used in well-ventilated areas but most people do not follow the manufacturer’s instructions, since most well ventilated areas do not need to be deodorized in the first place. These substances need to be outlawed in air fresheners.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Andrew Magill

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  1. Kalliope M. says:

    It would be a good beginning to avoid all these toxic chemicals in air fresheners – but I demand to avoid completely the usage of air fresheners at all – because Nobody really needs such!!!

  2. Formaldehyde??? Are they trying to kill their customers? All toxic chemicals in air fresheners should be banned.
    I agree with Kalliope – don’t use these air fresheners at all. There are natural non-toxic ways to freshen air, such as simmering herbs on the stove and using essential oils.

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