Air fresheners contain dangerous chemical compounds linked to asthma, cancer, and developmental problems, said a coalition of environmental groups in petitioning the EPA yesterday to regulate the industry. While most companies denied the charges, Walgreen Co. responded by pulling three fresheners off shelves in its 5,850 stores, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Studies found that even fresheners marked "All Natural" contained phthalates, chemicals that disrupt hormone production and cause malformed sex organs. Other chemicals found include benzene and formaldehyde. The petition said households that use fresheners are exposed "to a veritable cocktail of dangerous chemical compounds." The industry says scents contribute to quality of life, and date back to the Egyptians.