(NaturalHealth365) Gases from a car air freshener recently caused a car to explode in the UK. The automobile, a Ford Focus hatchback, was parked in a B&Q car park in Essex at the time. This unexpected explosion reportedly blew off the doors and roof of the car, injuring one person.
While the person’s injuries were said to be minor, this incident is nonetheless shocking – to say the least. Apparently, the explosion occurred after a buildup of gases from the air freshener was ignited within the enclosed car when a cigarette was lit, according to the Essex Fire and Rescue Service.
Is the scent of air freshener worth exposure to dangerous, toxic chemicals?
A bystander and witness to the event reported hearing a “very loud bang” and then saw the doors, roof and windshield of the car explode outward.
Sadly, many Americans tend to use air fresheners in their homes and cars. Their scent is believed to ‘freshens the atmosphere’ or, as some others may feel – ‘create a more pleasant environment.’ However, in addition to apparently being a potential explosion risk in small, enclosed spaces, they are also known to emanate harmful chemicals called phthalates.
Phthalates are toxic chemicals that have been linked with hormonal abnormalities, reproductive problems and birth defects. The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has conducted independent testing on 14 different kinds of common air fresheners.
None of the 14 types listed phthalates within their ingredient list; however, 12 of the 14 (86 percent) were found to contain phthalates. Some of the products containing phthalates are advertised as “unscented” and “all-natural.”
Phthalates in consumer products disturbingly common
Until the issue of exactly what ingredients and chemicals air fresheners contain is addressed, consumers should be aware of these risks. While vehicle explosions caused by air fresheners are not common, inhaling potentially harmful toxic chemicals could be more problematic and affect many uninformed people. Pregnant women, in particular, should avoid inhaling the scent of air fresheners to minimize the risk of phthalate exposure.
Phthalates are found in an alarming number of personal care products and consumer products as well. They are in nail polish, perfumes and even some soft plastic children’s toys.
As these chemicals are released, they can be inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin.
Of course, once these toxins are in the bloodstream, they have an impact on hormone levels that can lead to a wide range of health problems. In addition to disrupting the female reproductive system and developing fetuses, they also interfere with testosterone and sperm production in men.
Ask the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban phthalate use
Air fresheners are never a substitute for proper ventilation and fresh air. While they may smell pleasant, never forget that these products are loaded with toxic chemicals that promote disease symptoms.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that Americans are routinely exposed to five or more different phthalates on a regular basis, and some of them could be in these (innocent-looking) air freshener.
Anyone who is alarmed by this should call on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban phthalates in all consumer products and hold manufacturers accountable for the ingredients they use.
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