Are air fresheners and aerosols bad for you?

September 16, 2022 2 min read

Photo of the warning found on a back of aerosol air freshener. Brings to question the safety of using aerosol air fresheners in a living environment.

**Jigsaw voice**Do you wanna play a game?

Lemme just say that if you’re here, you’re in the right place.

Conventional air fresheners are packed with iffy ingredients and stuffy scents — but don't let aerosols sneak past you.The fact is: aerosols are bad news for both you and the planet.

There's a lot of noise out there, so let's play a quick game of true or false to help clear the air (pun intended).

True or False: Modern aerosol products don’t contain ozone-depleting ingredients.

The ozone-depleting CFCs that were originally used in aerosols were phased out in the 1980’s,BUT…

… the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that replaced them combine with another pollutant (nitrogen oxides) which creates a photochemical smog that is harmful to both human health and crops.

So while it’s true that harmful CFCs are out of the picture, their replacement isn’t all good news.


True of False: Aerosols have been leaked to headaches, earache, and even asthma.

It’s true, a study from Brunel University has linked conventional aerosol products to all sorts of nasty side effects, ranging from earache to diarrhea…

"Air fresheners combined with other aerosol and household products contribute to a complex mixture of chemicals and a build-up of VOCs in the home environment,” says the study’s lead author, Dr. Farrow.

​​"More research is needed but in the meantime it might be safer to limit use of air fresheners and aerosols in the home.”


True of False: Aerosol cans can be recycled.

Aerosol cans are typically made with aluminum or steel and can be recycled,BUT…

… the actual recycling of aerosol cans varies from place to place, as the precautions needed limit many recycling facilities from actually recycling them.

That’s because aerosols contain pressurized air and chemicals that, when heated or punctured, can potentially explode.

So it’s likely that your local area may restrict aerosol cans to household hazardous waste programs, rather than recycling centers. 

If you’re wondering whether your aerosol cans are recycled, you can reach out to your local recycling service.

Here at Cousin May's, every spray we make was thoughtfully designed with your health in mind, and we're proud to be aerosol-free. 

Got a question about our sprays? You can shoot me an email  and I'll get back to you as soon as I can!

To your health & (odor-free) happiness,

Monica (AKA Cousin May)

Photo of Cousin May's founder, Monica

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