This is not going to be a popular subject. Trying to get people to let go of their death grip on Febreze is like trying to get Chicagoans to call Sears Tower by its new "Willis" title- which is not going to happen, ever. I'm hopeful, however, that the mindset can be changed over the air fresheners.
Who doesn't love the smell of apple berry blossom or morning mountain mist. Your house can be a complete s*%t hole but at least it smells awesome. Well, that is what the Febreze commercials are telling me anyway. The folks at Environmental Working Group have a different story to tell like developmental and reproductive toxicity along with asthma, respiratory and environmental concerns. As you could probably assume, Febreze got a nice juicy F on their safety rating. Their other formulations didn't rate so high, either.
I shouldn't be picking on just Febreze- most air freshners on the market right now are filled with carcinogens like benzene, formaldehyde and VOC's (volatile organic compounds). There is also a nasty little endocrine disruptor, phthalate, that has been shown to cause birth defects and increase breast cancer risk. Honestly, you are better off breathing in the rotting garbage... but outside of the Hoarders TV show, who actually lives like that? If you really need some fresh air, crack a window or turn on the exhaust fan but don't plug-in, spray or spritz unless it is with essential oils. Below is a safe recipe for a room & linen spray adapted from the book Natural Health by Nerys Purchon.