Scents and Air Fresheners, Trigger Allergic Reactions

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Many people are using various scents of air fresheners and candles because they would like to eliminate or ventilate the air in a room or a place. Some of these air fresheners and candles have fruity odor which is very endearing to smell. However, the use of these air fresheners has certain draw backs which actually concerns one’s health, and people using it should be wary about allergic reactions which can be triggered by these air fresheners and scented candles, according to a news release.

Individuals do manifest allergic reactions when they are hypersensitive to a specific substance of air fresheners, scented candles or other substances present in the environment. These substances can be called as allergens. Allergic reactions are considered protective rather than debilitative because it is the body’s natural response in order to eliminate allergens which are detected by the immune system as harmful to the body.

If one person suspects that he is having allergic reactions from certain air fresheners and scented candles, he may experience itchiness all over the body, runny nose, asthma attack, redness and patches over the skin. Allergic reactions if mild can just go away through avoiding the allergen and resting. However, when allergic reactions become severe, it can actually lead to death.

The increasing in numbers of people who are getting allergic reactions to air fresheners and scented candles is already bothering. Dr. Stanley Fineman, president-elect of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) said: “I’ve seen patients who say, ‘I go into somebody’s house that has one of these air fresheners and I just can’t stay there. I have increasing nasal symptoms, sneezing and coughing.’ There is no allergy skin test for air fresheners, but people can definitely have a physiologic response to it.”

Other individuals may not have allergic response to air fresheners and scented candles because their body is not sensitive to the substances released by these fresheners in the atmosphere.

According to some studies, air fresheners contain volatile organic compounds which are usually composed of formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, limonene, alcohol and esters; and some of these volatile organic compounds when used in greater amounts can actually cause certain allergic response to humans.

Moreover, the manufacturing of air fresheners and scented candles must be strictly monitored. Safety precautions and labels should be reinforced and reiterated in order to avoid the development of allergic reactions among its users.

In the Allergy and Asthma News Issue last 2004, it was said that “Individuals who are affected by allergic rhinitis and asthma may find that strong scents trigger their symptoms. Products with strong odors include:

  • Perfume, colognes, aftershave
  • Hairsprays
  • Lotions, creams
  • Soaps
  • Cosmetics and deodorants
  • Shampoos and conditioners
  • Laundry detergents and fabric softeners
  • Air fresheners, pot pourri
  • Scented candles
  • Cleaning products





  1. dennis dickinson says:

    smole is smoke
    for some reason candles & the sutch get a freebe
    there worse than cigarettes but larger smoke particles

  2. Consumers can be assured that the fragranced air fresheners they use in their homes are safe when used according to label instructions. There is no definitive scientific evidence, clinical or otherwise, to prove that fragrance materials cause asthma, nasal congestion, sneezing, or runny nose. The fact is that cold air, dry air, and almost any aroma can trigger various respiratory symptoms in different individuals. Some individuals may experience respiratory sensitivity to certain materials in the environment, both natural and man?made. And people who experience such sensitivity to consumer products can choose to avoid using the products. But it is irresponsible to assign blame to popular consumer products without supporting scientific evidence. The safety of fragrances marketed today is based on clinically proven, scientific studies reviewed by an independent panel of experts, published in the highest level, peer-reviewed, scientific journals available to anyone and ratified by government agencies around the world. The fragrance industry welcomes scientific dialogue, but insists on real science and fact-based consumer education and medical advice. For more information please visit .

  3. dennis dickinsoin says:

    “are safe when used according to label instructions”
    nobody trims the wick on the carcinogenic candles “soy is the worst”
    nor sprays nasty chemicals in short burst
    junk in the air is junk in the air
    it’s a common sense thing
    moderation is the key
    afterall the folks that like the longest smoke & drink everyday
    but in small doses

  4. These plug in air wicks and so on are lethal….. I dont need science to prove that….Consumes cannot be assured of anything. these products are extremly dangerouse to peoples health… I understand this is big buisness, but im sure these companies can come up with a natural way to eliminate oders… but then again they woundnt have there chemical cocktaiils to protect. I know many people who have had severe reactions to them..Its so sad that you can walk into someones home and develop an asthma attack…When these plug in were removed from the home symtoms completly stopped….

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