written by: Genevieve Van Wyden
• edited by: Diana Cooper
• updated: 12/25/2010
You have options other than air fresheners made from potentially harmful chemicals. The best air fresheners for people with asthma are often found in nature rather than in your store.
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That can of air freshener may smell good when you spray it in the kitchen, bathroom or laundry room, but what are the chemicals doing to your lungs? Some of these chemicals can trigger asthma attacks in those sensitive to them, reports the National Resources Defense Council. Occasional use isn’t likely to cause permanent damage, but regular use can harm asthmatics as it pollutes the air it is meant to clean.
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Visit your health food store and buy small vials of essential oils in the scents you most enjoy. These scents include cinnamon, oregano, eucalyptus, geranium and tea tree. These essential oils contain freshening, antiseptic and air-cleaning properties when they are warmed in an aromatic oil diffuser. Essential oils are made from nature, so they have no chemicals that can potentially damage your respiratory system, making them among the best air fresheners for people with asthma.
Add a few drops of lemon juice to a toxin-free household cleaner so the cleaner performs double duty, cleaning your home and giving a natural, fresh scent.
Although manufactured, scented air fresheners can make the rooms in your home smell good, the chemicals they use have the potential of irritating not only your lungs, but your skin and eyes, states the Mayo Clinic.
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Ground Fresh Lemon Slices
Slice up a lemon into small slices, then grind them into your garbage disposal. The scent of the lemon deodorizes your garbage disposal while releasing the scent of the lemon into the air.
As you use natural products to freshen your home, make sure you’re removing trash as soon as the bag is full and ventilating your home correctly, so you reduce harmful chemicals and allergens that you would otherwise breathe.
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Buy a fresh box of baking soda (not baking powder) and sprinkle some into the bottoms of all the wastebaskets in your home. Baking soda is an all-natural product used in baking and cleaning. It contains deodorizing properties (sprinkling some in your cat’s litter box and into your family’s shoes helps neutralize odors). As you sprinkle the baking soda, put a face mask over your nose and mouth so you don’t accidentally breathe the powder into your lungs.
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Visit your plant nursery and buy indoor plants like bamboo palm, gerbera daisy and the peace lily, as they are reputed to clean indoor air.
The National Resources Defense Council reports that these household plants, along with others, work as natural air filters, taking harmful chemicals such as benzene and carbon monoxide from the air. Because of this function, these indoor plants, as well as others, are some of the best air fresheners for asthmatics.
Ask nursery employees if the potting soil is intended for indoor use. As soon as you verify the potting soil is the correct type, keep it moderately dry and clean so mold and mildew don’t grow, as they are known to irritate those who suffer from asthma.