Are Car Air Fresheners Bad for You?

Millions of people around the UK use car air fresheners every day. Whichever scent you choose, from simple vanilla to fragrances inspired by luxury colognes, they all keep your car smelling great.

But a growing concern over “chemicals” has caused some to wonder: are car air fresheners toxic? Are they really safe to use? And is there such thing as a non-toxic car air freshener?

When used correctly, high-quality car air fresheners shouldn’t pose a risk to your health. In this guide, we’ll clear up some misconceptions and share everything you need to know about car air freshener safety.

Are Car Air Fresheners Safe?

There are many types of car air fresheners, from spray mists to diffusers that release fragrance over time. There’s no doubt that they smell fantastic – but are they bad for you?

In the UK, there are strict laws governing the sale of car air fresheners to ensure they’re safe. Any company that sells car air fresheners must:

  • Abide by safe ingredient limits according to REACH – the regulation for the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals
  • Assess and minimise any risks that the product may pose
  • Appropriately label the product and provide warnings and instructions for appropriate use

All new car fresheners on the market are tested thoroughly. If they are found to pose an unnecessary health risk during normal use, they are not approved for sale. Because of this, car air fresheners in the UK are perfectly safe if used correctly.

Can Car Air Fresheners Make You Sick?

Using a high-quality diffuser or mist in your car is unlikely to cause health issues. However, like many household products, car air fresheners may contain chemicals that are toxic if ingested. They may also cause a rash, redness or irritation if they come into contact with the skin or eyes.

There’s no such thing as a chemical-free car air freshener – all substances are composed of chemicals, including water. Brands that use buzzwords such as “natural”, “organic” and “plant-based” can be just as toxic as synthetic ones. Essential oils, for example, can burn the digestive tract if swallowed.

However, using a car freshener as intended – i.e. hanging or spraying it in your car – should not make you sick. The dangers of car air fresheners mostly arise from misuse, so always read the instructions carefully.

Can You Be Allergic to Car Air Fresheners?

It is possible to be allergic to a car air freshener. Signs of a fragrance allergy may include sneezing, headaches, a runny nose and tightness in the chest. These symptoms may be more common in people with asthma or other allergies.

Car air freshener allergies are caused by the immune system reacting negatively to one or more volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are naturally-occurring chemicals emitted by almost everything that has a scent. This includes things such as fruits and flowers as well as artificial fragrances.

Fortunately, reacting to one car air freshener does not necessarily mean you’re allergic to them all. You may find that certain brands or scents do not trigger any symptoms.

How to Use Car Air Fresheners Safely

Provided you choose a reputable brand that follows UK safety regulations (such as Car Cologne), you shouldn’t encounter any car air freshener health risks. However, to be on the safe side:

  • Read the instructions that came with the product, and follow them closely
  • Keep car diffusers, aerosols and sprays upright to prevent spillage, and handle glass bottles with care
  • Never allow car air freshener liquid or gel to touch the skin or eyes. If this happens, wash the area thoroughly and seek medical advice
  • Wash your hands after touching a card air freshener
  • Always keep car air fresheners out of the reach of children and pets
  • If any car air freshener is swallowed, seek urgent medical attention
  • Stop using the product if you notice signs of an allergic reaction

Finally, car fresheners are often flammable – so keep them away from flames and heat sources, and never smoke in your car.

Where Can I Buy Safe Car Air Fresheners (UK)?

If you’re wondering where to buy long-lasting, safe car air fresheners that smell great, look no further than Car Cologne: the UK’s leading luxury car freshener brand. All of our car fresheners comply with all relevant UK laws and are completely safe when used correctly.

We use pure fragrance oils in our products, inspired by popular high-end colognes and perfumes. Some of our best-sellers include our car diffusers, car mist, card fresheners and air-con cologne. Our products are used and trusted by some very well-known faces including Floyd Mayweather, Jesse Lingard and more!

You can view our full collection of car air fresheners here. For any questions about our products, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Ex financial contractor turned E-Commerce brand owner. with a strong passion for both the automotive and fragrance industries. This passion led me to starting Car Cologne in 2018, indirectly creating a new niche in the process, providing long-lasting, luxury car freshening products on a global scale.

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