Mass-marketed air-fresheners can make your home more polluted than a busy street at rush hour, warns the European Consumers Union (BEUC).
It has tested 76 of the common household products and found they contain allergens, irritants and worse. Toxicologist André Cocollela says the presence of benzene and formaldehyde, classed by the World Health Organisation as carcenogic, poses a real public health problem, since these products can be used repetitively, so, over the long term, the cancer risk can not be ignored. BEUC said the results were shocking, and underscored the importance of proposed EU laws on chemicals. The REACH programme – the letters stand for Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals – calls for safety checks to be carried out on some 30,000 commonly used substances that have been exempt from monitoring. The BEUC publication comes just ahead of discussions of the controversial legislation by EU ministers this week. Industry groups are opposed to the REACH plan, which would need the approval of both the European Parliament and member states to come into force.