Study: Fragrant compound in household products harms lungs

July 25, 2008 2:29:38 PM PDT
That fragrant air freshener you spray in your house may smell good, but could be bad for your lungs and your risk of asthma. A volatile organic compound called 1,4 dichlorobenzene is often found in room deodorizers, sprayed cleaning products, paints, moth balls and insecticides.

Three studies have found that compound, inhaled over time, could reduce your lung function by four percent and could increase the risk of developing asthma.

Researchers at the University of Washington recommend using unscented cleaning products and laundry detergent, and if you have to use chemicals when cleaning open the windows and wear a mask.