Thursday, July 12, 2018 by Edsel Cook
Just recently, an automobile blew up without warning in the U.K. – but it wasn’t because of a terrorist plot. An article in Natural Health 365 states that the car exploded due to a build-up of toxic gases from the air freshener.
The vehicle was in the parking lot of a B&Q home improvement retail store in Essex during the time of the accident. The explosion was strong enough to send the hatchback’s doors and roof flying.
One person suffered minor injuries during the incident.
The Essex Fire and Rescue Service reported that gases from the air freshener accumulated inside the vehicle. When the driver lit a cigarette inside the car, the concentrated gases ignited and caused the explosion.
One of the witnesses reported hearing the explosion right before witnessing the doors, roof, and windshield of the car get blown off the car. (Related: Why cosmetics ingredients matter: Skin is your largest organ; what you put on it gets absorbed into your bloodstream.)
Air fresheners are commonly used in cars and homes to improve the odors of an enclosed space. However, the gases they emit are dangerous, and not just because they can lead to explosions.
Air fresheners emit toxic chemicals called phthalates. These chemicals have been associated with hormone disruption, problems with the reproductive system, and birth defects.
The advocacy group National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) previously investigated 14 different air fresheners for the presence of phthalates. The chemicals were not listed on the ingredients list of any of the fresheners.
However, the NRDC test reported that 12 out of the 14 air fresheners turned out to contain phthalates. Several of those products happened to be marketed as “unscented” and “all-natural.”
Furthermore, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that Americans get exposed to at least five different phthalates on a regular basis. It stands to reason that some of those phthalates are coming from air fresheners
While car explosions are obviously far more spectacular, they are also much rarer. In comparison, a steady absorption of toxic gases is much more problematic in the long run, especially since most people do not know about the dangers of the products they are using.
This holds particularly true for pregnant women. To reduce their exposure to phthalates that could affect them and their unborn children, they should avoid taking in the scent of air fresheners.
Likewise, they should refrain from using other items that contain phthalates. The chemicals are used in numerous consumer products, including soft plastic toys and personal care items like nail polish and perfumes.
Phthalates are not just absorbed via inhalation. They can also be absorbed through the skin and even ingested through contaminated food.
The toxins are transported throughout the body of the affected person via the bloodstream. Once in the blood, they can disrupt the hormones that govern numerous bodily processes, causing a domino effect of health problems.
Their effects are not limited to women and developing fetuses. In men, phthalates also affect testosterone levels and the production of testosterone.
In summary, air fresheners are not safe due to their occasional explosive tendencies or their constant emission of toxic phthalates that affect your hormones.
Instead, step out of your car and room to get some fresh air. Or roll down the window of your vehicle.
If it is an enclosure, make sure it is properly ventilated. Throw open the windows and let air circulate in and out of the room.
Find out how to protect yourself from commonplace toxic chemicals like phthalates at Chemicals.news.