Do you use scented household products or air fresheners? Do you suffer from headaches, stuffiness and sneezing while you’re using them? It’s not just a coincidence. It is most likely a reaction to the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and phthalates that are commonly used in household products like cleaners and disinfectants.
According to a 2011 study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, a publication by the National Institutes of Health, “[a] single fragrance in a product can contain a mixture of hundreds of chemicals, some of which (e.g., limonene, a citrus scent) react with ozone in ambient air to form dangerous secondary pollutants, including formaldehyde.” (Potera, 2011) And the EPA estimates that “[c]oncentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors.”
Side effects of these artificial scents can be annoying like eye, nose and throat irritation or as severe as kidney, liver and central nervous system damage. Phthalate exposure has been known to exacerbate symptoms of asthma and allergies and, in extreme cases, cause birth defects and reproductive damage.
For those of us not willing to endure these side effects and concerned about the safety of our families, we’ve compiled spring-inspired DIY scent recipes that are chemical-free, fresh and inspired by Spring.
If are new to DIY scents, there are a few options you can try — essential oil diffusers and simmering.
B. Simmering — Slice up your ingredients and add just enough water to cover (about 2 cups), set stove to low and simmer.
- Grapefruit, mint and ginger from Two Purple Couches
- Lemon and rosemary create a light, crisp scent from Rachel Schultz
- Lime and mint would be great for end of Spring and early summer. Mojito anyone? From Thistlewood Farms
What are your favorite DIY scent combinations for Spring? We’d love to hear from you in the Comments section below.