Allergens are everywhere. 'Tis the season of open windows, pollen reports, and buying tissues in bulk, after all. So, it's understandable that a product like Febreze Allergen Reducer may seem appealing. Simply spray it on and it reduces airborne allergens, so your home is clean and allergen-free. Sounds great! Except . . . how exactly are they doing that? Are the chemicals used in the spray really safe? Sure, you may be reducing allergens, but are you trading it for other side effects?
Doesn't it seem lovely? Two little children teaching us about how we can improve their breathing environment surely can't be wrong, can they? Um, yes. Yes they can. Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a lot to say about Febreze Allergen Reducer, actually, and it's not positive. What is EWG, you ask? Well, they're a research and advocacy organization that researches the safety of products on the market, evaluating their content and ingredients and overall effects on people and the environment. EWG rates products based on their individual ingredients, detailing how safe (or unsafe) they are to both humans and the general environment, and Febreze Allergen Reducer gets a gigantic F.
Not only are there quite a few unspecified ingredients in the spray (eek), those that are clearly disclosed are of concern due to their proven effects on human development, and how they affect the endocrine and reproductive systems (yikes!). In addition, they're unsafe for the environment. The deodorizing agents used may smell nice (although that's certainly up for debate), but they're toxic, too. (Although they do sell an unscented version, it still contains the other questionable chemicals other than toxic fragrance.)
Among some of the more concerning comments about the product are these: "skin irritation/allergies/damage, nervous system effects, respiratory effects, digestive system effects, damage to vision..." So let me get this straight—just spray this toxic, smelly stuff all over my home where my family and pets breathe the air, and we'll reduce the airborne allergens, but add this chemical cocktail instead?
NO. THANK. YOU.
As consumers, it's so important we read the labels and understand the ingredients in our products, and not just take commercials at face value.
If you'd like to try a natural allergen-reducer, I make my own using rubbing alcohol, tea tree oil, and some lavender oil in a spray bottle. It naturally deodorizes, disinfects, kills dust mites, and reduces airborne allergens without harming the environment or you. It's great on bedding, carpets, stuffed toys, furniture . . . everywhere! So, not only will it not harm your reproductive bits and pieces, it's also cheaper than the toxic junk on store shelves.
Alex's All-Natural Allergen Reducer
1 cup rubbing alcohol
10-15 drops of pure eucalyptus essential oil
10-15 drops of pure tea tree oil
Combine in a spray bottle for easy use.
Here are 10 Ways to Survive Spring Allergies (naturally!) that may also help.