Our question this week was:Dr. Jon - What makes you think plug-in air fresheners are safe for dogs or cats to be around? (Tip on Dangers of Liquid Potpourri to Dogs). There is silica in some, as well as many toxic fragrance chemicals. Right at nose level for them. Not safe for anyone.
Look at these references:
Air-freshening chemicals may lead to cancerous cells (2006) Denver Post.
Nation: World News. Retrieved May 15, 2006 from:
Anderson, RC, & Anderson, JH (1998) Toxic effects of air freshener
emissions. Archives of Environmental Health. 52(6):433-41.
Anderson, RC, & Anderson, JH (1998) Acute toxic effects of fragrance
products. Archives of Environmental Health. 53(2):138-46.
Farrow, A, Taylor, H, Northstone, K, Golding, J (2003). Symptoms of
mothers and infants related to total volatile organic compounds in
household products. Archives of Environmental Health. 58(10):633-41.Answer
Hi – thanks for your email. Goodness, isn't anything safe any more?
You read our article about the liquid potpourri that can be caustic if licked. It is a more common problem in cats than dogs but can cause burns in the mouth and esophagus that can be very bad.
As far as the dangers of plug-in air fresheners, you bring up a great point. I've not read about the dangers of plug-in air fresheners to pets but you are right – they are at "nose level". It is possible that they could cause problems that have not get been identified. The only time I have recommended using caution with plug-in air fresheners is around cats with a history of asthma.
Has anyone else heard about plug-in air fresheners being dangerous to dogs and cats?
Thanks very much for your email. I'll post this on our site and give our users something to consider.
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