Air Fresheners Don’t Make Scents!

air freshener advertisement with flowers and butterflies coming out of the potFrom plug-ins to sprays, synthetic air fresheners are bad news. Chock-full of toxic ingredients, they typically contain phthalates linked to obesity and other problems, as well as potent allergens that lead to fragrance allergies—a condition that affects 34 million people in the U.S.

That’s why when I heard about this new campaign from Women’s Voices for the Earth, I knew I had to share. The campaign targets Glade air fresheners and employs some of the cutest babies I’ve ever seen as messengers. If SC Johnson can use cute babies to sell products, why can’t we use them to let people know about the air-polluting fragrances that are in their products? [Read more…]

What is Fracking? 4 Facts You Should Know

woman with fire coming out of her kitchen tapWhat is fracking? Here’s the short answer: Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is a drilling practice that calls for injecting millions of gallons of a toxic mixture of chemicals, water and sand into the earth in order to create enough pressure to cracks open rocks and release oil or natural gas.

And here’s what you need to know:

1. The nearly 600 chemicals used in fracking include known carcinogens such as benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylene, among others, which can leach into drinking water. [Read more…]

5 Tips to Fight Air Pollution—And Asthma

Close up photo of houseplant leavesThere’s nothing Southern California weather, with its nearly 300 days of sunshine. But here’s one teensy-tiny drawback to the cloudless skies and general lack of atmospheric commotion: The clearer and calmer the weather, the more we Angelenos hear the freeway. And the more we think about air pollution.

Now, some people aren’t bothered by the sound of the freeway. I have a friend who claims to simply imagine that she lives closer to the beach and is hearing the distant sound of crashing waves. She says the constant flow of freeway traffic noise is easily tuned out.

Except I can’t tune it out. I obsess over it. To me, the freeway noise that’s somehow magnified by the alley that runs alongside our back garden is the one significant flaw of my otherwise perfectly lovely house. It’s the reason I don’t like to sit outside in the back yard. It’s why I worry about contamination of the vegetables that we grow, and encourage my kids to play in front of the house.

[Read more…]