I’ve been writing about the issues of air pollution in the home for years, we are all aware of pollution in busy cities but often forget the high levels of toxicity in our homes.
The headline in the Daily Mail last week was:
‘The silent killer in your home: Scented candles and air fresheners are adding to pollution that kills 40,000 people a year in UK’.
It was an article by the consumer affairs editor reporting on a joint study by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. The report called ‘Every Breath We Take’ says “indoor air pollution may have caused or contributed to at least 40,000 deaths annually in the UK and it does indeed suggest that the everyday items are partly to blame”.
I have been encouraging people for years to replace air fresheners, candles, fly sprays and cleaning products with a natural eco version and this report flags all of these up. They also say that faulty boilers and open fires, even furnishing and fabrics, mould and household glues can contribute to the problem and can be disastrous for people with respiratory problems and asthma and can lead to increased irritability, tiredness and more serious conditions.
It all comes down to VOC’s – volatile organic compounds, but in this case don’t be thinking ‘organic’ sounds good, there’s nothing wholesome about VOC’s which start off as solids or liquids and then evaporate into the air. Limonene is a particularly worrying one often used in scented candles and air fresheners to make them smell ‘citrusy’
The professors involved in the study are calling on the Government to monitor exposure to air pollution especially because of the effects on the elderly and young children.
For most of us we can’t change where we live, or the ‘infrastructure’ of our homes but we absolutely can make better choices in what potentially toxic chemicals we use in our homes.
For freshening the air, grab a plant spray, half fill with water and add a few drops of essential oil such as lemon, lavender or geranium, or buy one of the gorgeous room sprays such as the Sacred Space mist from
For candles yes you can have a gorgeous aroma without the artificial fragrance, try the lovely eco grapefruit, lemon and cedarwood scented candle from