ASK PUNEET: WHY ARE SYNTHETIC AIR FRESHENERS DANGEROUS?

ASK PUNEET: WHY ARE SYNTHETIC AIR FRESHENERS DANGEROUS?

Dear Friends, 

It seems quite obvious that products designed to improve your wellness should not make you sick. However, even after decades as an Ayurvedic expert and CEO, I continuously see such products on the market. It makes me furious. 

One of the worst culprits is one you would never expect: synthetic air fresheners. Toxic chemicals in air fresheners lead to indoor pollution. Which in turn can make you and your loved ones very sick.

Is home scenting always bad? 

Not at all! Whether you have pets, a hamper full of sweaty gym socks, or a living room that still reeks of last night’s takeout, you understand the importance of a good smelling environment. A pleasantly scented home can help you relax and even sleep better.

However, not all home scents are created equal. If you use synthetic chemical plug-in air fresheners, you could be making yourself and your loved ones sick.

Let’s take a look at what’s in artificial home scents, why they’re dangerous, and how you can scent your home naturally instead. 

 What chemicals are in artificial home scents? 

  • Cancer-causing formaldehyde. Formaldehyde has two major claims to fame. The first is that it is used to embalm dead bodies. (Yes, really.) The second is that it most likely causes cancer among the still living. Unfortunately, formaldehyde can be found in everything from building materials to household products, including synthetic air fresheners.
  • Potentially reproductive abnormality-causing phthalates. According to a study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council, phthalates are a major ingredient in many synthetic chemical air fresheners. This class of chemicals has been linked to everything from obesity in humans to hormonal imbalances and reproductive abnormalities in animals. 
  • Liver- and brain-damaging naphthalene. Once used in mothballs, this synthetic chemical is associated with cataracts, liver damage, and brain damage in children. I think these horrible effects speak for themselves. 
  • Smell-destroying volatile organic compounds. In addition to potentially destroying your sense of smell, the American Lung Association says that volatile organic compounds can damage your eyes, lungs, and throat, as well as potentially cause cancer.
  • DDT ingredient dichlorobenzene. CDC says Dichlorobenzene may potentially cause cancer. While that is not conclusive, the chemical is a major ingredient in DDT. 

Why are dangerous air fresheners still being sold? 

This is an excellent question. Unfortunately, the air freshener industry is “self-regulated,” which means it’s not regulated at all. Even “green” air freshener companies are not required to tell the public about all the ingredients in their products. 

I'm sorry to have to write something so scary! But the good news is that a much better solution is easily available. 

How can I scent my home safely? 

The safest way to scent your home is with natural fragrances: ingredients you can identify and pronounce, with nothing extra.  

I would never sell a product that I didn't use myself. For that reason, Guru Nanda Essential Oils are made from the highest-quality plants the world over, sustainably harvested.

Every single vial is tested twice: through third-party GC-MS testing, and in-house with our own GC-MS machine. In this way, we can prove that our oils are 100% pure.

Scenting your home naturally with pure and natural essential oils can have a positive impact on your health and wellness. 

How should I diffuse essential oils? 

This really depends on the size of the space you are scenting, as well as your own lifestyle and needs! Here are some of my favorite diffusers: 

The Waterless Mist Pluggy 


With 3 different oil size options and 2 different mist modes, The Pluggy offers a customizable home scenting experience. One-of-a-kind nebulizing technology breaks down the essential oil’s particles, pleasantly diffusing them throughout your home or office without using water or heat. This keeps the scent intact and non-toxic.

I love The Pluggy because of how easy it is to use. Simply twist on your favorite GuruNanda essential oil, plug the diffuser into the wall, and you're set.

The Halo 


I will admit that The Halo is my very favorite product we sell. It is a humidifier and a diffuser, delivering soothing hydration to your hair, skin, and respiratory system. As someone who has allergies, this is very important to me! You can use it as just a humidifier, or a humidifer and diffuser at the same time. 

The Halo’s easy top-fill design is incredibly convenient. I don't have time to be constantly cleaning up essential oil messes, and I'm sure you don't either. Better yet, The Halo runs for 22 hours straight for your convenience. 

While I am saddened that so many dangerous products remain on the market, I am proud to be able to offer home-scenting products that are safe, high-quality, and truly designed for wellness. 

Namaste, Puneet