We’ve known it for a long time... Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are bad news. But new research from the National Institute of Environmental Health Services (NIEHS) has now found that one particularly common VOC is particularly hazardous.
According to a just-released NIEHS study, the chemical, 1,4 dicholorobenzene (1,4 DCB), is likely reducing lung functioning in people exposed to it. 1,4 DCB is a chemical found in many air fresheners, toilet bowl cleaners, mothballs, and other deodorizing products. According to the NIEHS, “even a small reduction in lung function may indicate some harm to the lungs.” The agency suggests that the use of such products and materials be reduced, especially around children and those who have asthma or other respiratory illnesses.
That’s an important statement, but the bigger point of the study is this: We live in a world where there’s no one to protect our families from ordinary consumer products. We all need to be our own gate keepers. Let’s start by getting smart about smelling nice.