My roommate mentioned to me in passing how they never use air fresheners at her house. She said for one reason or another, her mom just doesn't trust them. As her mom put it, "You just never know about these things down the road..." Their family instead opts for an open window to air out the house. I was a little perplexed by this. Like most people, I have at least a can or so of febreze sitting around my apartment and have never thought twice about it.
However, this column from the Washington Post may make you think twice about using that air freshener...maybe you are better off with a stinky apartment after all! This is from a weekly green column, called The Green Lantern. The article mostly discusses the history of aerosol air fresheners, starting with the release of the first Glade product in 1956. Eventually, one of the "magic" ingredients in these fresheners, chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) was actually found to be breaking up ozone molecules that protect us from UV light. So, out they went. Air fresheners were quickly named "CFC free". Yet, there is new research being done about the concerns of new toxins in these air fresheners, as well as the amount of energy an ordinary plug in freshener can use (about equivalent to a barrel's worth of oil a year!).
Now, this whole idea that air fresheners are quietly hurting us could be complete bogus. However, it could be like many things down the road, in that, we think how crazy we were for using this artificial scent in our houses when we could have simply opened a window and saved ourselves a lot of trouble. What do you think? Are you going to keep your febreze handy or leave it to good ol' nature to make your apartment smell fresh and clean?