Is Febreze Safe or Toxic?

If you’re looking to reduce odors in your
home, you might have searched for an air freshener like Febreze. But when you type it into search, the results
might scare you. You may see a list of websites that say Febreze
is full of toxic chemicals, that it is has air contaminants, and is harmful to pets. Oh and did I mention, the claims that it’s
linked to cancer? But is all that true? We’re going to talk about some of the claims
that are out there, and then you get to decide for yourself. . This video is sponsored by Procter & Gamble,
the company who makes Febreze. They flew me out to Cincinnati so I can speak
with their scientists and check out the labs. Although this video is paid for, my opinion
is not, and it’s fully my own. If you are a regular viewer on this channel,
then you already know — Surprise! Everything is made of chemicals. This sofa, these flowers, this apple. Claims that you can live a “chemical free”
life -are just untrue. There are no alternatives to chemicals, just
choices about which chemicals to use and how they’re made. So let’s talk about TOXIC chemicals. Now if I offered you this apple you’d probably
eat it. . . why not! You know it’s non-toxic and all natural. But what if I told you it had formaldehyde? Would you still eat it? Probably not, even though that statement is
true. In addition to the hundreds of natural chemicals
you’re exposing yourself to everytime you eat an apple, you’re also eating between
one and six milligrams of naturally occurring formaldehyde. So why don’t we die of toxicity? Because the conversation isn’t about whether
a chemical is toxic or not. It’s about the dose, or the amount of the
chemical you’re exposed too. Let’s take something as natural as sunlight. Too much, and you risk a sunburn or even skin
cancer. Too little, and your body can’t produce
the Vitamin D it needs to keep bones healthy – so the answer is moderation. In the case of formaldehyde- at high levels
it can be toxic, but at low levels it’s a necessary part of our body and is used to
make certain amino acids and DNA. Good news for chemical watchers! Febreze doesn’t have formaldehyde, phthalates,
or many of the other ingredients on people’s ‘No Fly’ list, but even if it did, I wouldn’t
be concerned too, because it’s the dose, that makes the poison. So WHAT in Febreze are people claiming is
toxic? Some people say it puts contaminants into
the air.. But just because a chemical is present doesn’t
mean it’s unsafe.You want to know what else produces contaminants —roses. The natural smell of roses puts hundreds of
chemical compounds into the air. These are known as volatile organic compounds
and although some VOC’s are harmful, the ones found in roses and Febreze are totally
safe. Before Febreze goes into stores, scientists
find the chemicals’ safe dose, a level where no effects are seen on a wide array of people
— even the most sensitive types of people. Then they set the limit they use for their
products anywhere from 100 to 1000x below that. They call that the product’s safe limit. This limit is constantly monitored in the
face of any customer complaints or new data. I learned over 500 Ph.D scientists at Procter
& Gamble work to ensure product safety.. It’s a big deal for them. I’ve been to the labs and the amount of
effort that goes into testing products for effectiveness, irritation and safety is pretty
impressive. It’s a big operation, not two guys stuffed
into a basement somewhere who never get invited to the company party. When I first saw websites claiming Febreze
harmed cats and dogs, I thought…maybe that’s possible. After all, animals have smaller body weights
and may be more sensitive to the smaller doses of chemicals that don’t really affect humans. However, veterinary toxicology experts at
National Animal Poison Control Center, and the American Veterinary Medical Association,
called the claims false saying, “Contrary to rumors being spread over the internet,
there is no substantiated evidence that the use of Febreze caused the death of any dogs
or cats.” Typical of most urban legends, the allegations
that Febreze is dangerous are accompanied with vague claims of pets dying or become
ill. Just remember, there’s a big difference
between “My pet died after using Febreeze” vs “My pet died because of Febreze”. The same goes for cancer. When I hear that an ingredient is linked to
cancer, I get a little skeptical. It’s tempting to assume one variable caused
another, but just because a chemical was present when a disease occurred does NOT mean it caused
it. It reminds me of one of my favorite cartoons
where a man realizes that everyone who’s ever gone to the moon has eaten chicken. He concludes – Chicken makes you go to the
moon! I’m not saying that concerns about links
to cancer or disease should be ignored, but they deserve the same skepticism as bold product
claims. When I look into claims that an ingredient
does something horrible, I often find a single study, in the lab, using massive and unrealistic
amounts of an ingredient. Let’s take California’s Prop 65- which is
so inclusive that it made coffee shops label coffee as a carcinogen. No – an occasional coffee will not cause your
cells to suddenly multiply out of control. My evidence? The American Cancer Society…. and my addiction
to Starbucks. So, why I am telling you all this? Because I believe consumers should make INFORMED
decisions, and I want to provide the information that helps make it possible. Frankly, I’m also getting a little tired
of the toxic hysteria that seems to surround every product I look at. If you feel the same way, click that like
button! If you find you just don’t like fragranced
products, then that’s okay maybe Febreze isn’t for you. But make the decisions based on the facts,
not on false accusations that someone else wants you to believe. Now that we talked safety, let’s get to
the next big question – does Febreze really work? Share what you think in the comments below–
then join me in the next video. Click subscribe, or you might miss it!

25 thoughts on “Is Febreze Safe or Toxic?

  1. Here is a link for more information:
    Wasn't the cat in this video the cutest!?! I want to adopt her! She doesn't have a name yet, so for now she's Cutie Kitty McCool Beans ?
    Have questions or thoughts about air fresheners? Sound off in the comment section below! I'd love to chat with ya!

  2. I'm a fan of your channel but It would have been great if you talked about the ingredients, manufacturing process, and quality control. Lots of fluff and not a lot of science. It felt more like I watched a advertisement.

  3. I liked this video. One thing that caught my attention that might not be clear to people unfamiliar with "post hoc" is the distinction you mentioned between "My cat died after using Fabreeze" and "My cat died because of Fabreeze." I think a quick 1-2 sentence followup would have been helpful for people who are just hearing about correlation vs causation for the first time. Anyway, just a minor nitpick. Great video as usual!

  4. Interesting, makes me think of febreze a lot different. Didn't know there was so much research behind it.

  5. Talking about odorous VOCs made me think of this funny chart describing how different categories of organic compounds smell. (Which certainly is important to formulating a fragrance in a product.)

    Pretty much all the amines smell terrible. :,D

  6. I thought you were going to talk about cyanide in the apples, formaldehyde is a good angle too; I always like pointing out to people that tomatoes are related to nightshade.

  7. If febreeze is so ok then why do i get a caugh attack every time i walk into a room where febreeze is being used. And it can take a couple hours to clear out you didn't. Include that or all the others. I know with that same priblem

  8. Here's a bit of anecdotal evidence that inhaling room sprays miiighhhtt not be the best: I accidentally sprayed some of it on my neck and developed a rash. If it caused a rash on the outside, what could it be doing on the inside?

  9. Febreeze and Lysol trigger my asthma. They both have sent me to the hospital. Most people do not know how to use these sprays correctly. They spray a bunch at once and don t care.

  10. Febreze is toxic air pollution, and P&G pays shills like this lady to say otherwise. There is only one air freshener, and that is fresh air.

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