Friday, September 21, 2007

You may not need anti-depressants; just get rid of that air freshener

Americans are expected to spend 1.72 billion dollars on air fresheners this year, which is enough to buy 82,100 new Toyota Prius cars. A study was done following the health and development of 14,000 children that showed 32 percent more babies suffered diarrhea in homes where air fresheners were used daily, as opposed to homes where they were used once a week or less. I can't help wondering which precipitated which, but the air-freshener kids, as they are known nowhere, had significantly more earaches also. It was found that mothers who use fresheners suffered 10 percent more headaches. Women who lived in homes with daily air freshener use had a 26 percent increased risk of depression. The study concluded that some air fresheners, when used in the presence of ozone (a form of oxygen), can produce toxic pollutants.

I’m a little surprised to learn this much is being spent on air fresheners. I’d rather see the money going to Darfur or medical research but, hey, maybe people cook cabbage and then have to do damage control. The larger issue for me is who came up with the idea of trying to correlate air freshener and mood swings...and why. Had there been an overriding number of depressed people exuding the aroma of pine that gave rise to this study?

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