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Is Febreze Safe or Toxic?

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Disclaimer  – I have a material and/or financial connection because I received a gift, sample of a product and/or compensation for consideration in preparing to write this content. All opinions stated within are my own.

Last week I was invited to a Febreze Safety Immersion to learn more about what Procter & Gamble is doing to ensure consumers feel safe using Febreze products. I’ll admit, before going I didn’t use Febreze products as my first thought was “chemicals.” Well, I was wrong and what I learned about Febreze, both during the presentation by scientists and the cool lab tour, is that reading the label doesn’t tell the entire story.

The morning started with a presentation by one of Febreze’s principal scientists. Science has never been my thing so I was sure this would be way over my head but it wasn’t – the scientist did a great job of breaking it down and explaining how Febreze’s OdorClear technology works to neutralize odor rather than simply mask it. There’s no way I could accurately describe this to you, but the below video can and it illustrates how molecules in Febreze actually capture “bad odor” molecules to eliminate them.

The best part of the day was our tour of the lab where we did real “stink experiments” – and I do mean STINK! Who knew you could create body odor in a lab and package it, but yup – it smelled like some of the worst body odor I’ve ever smelled. It literally made my eyes water! The scientist then sprayed Febreze Fabric Refresher Free, which has no perfume in it, on one of the body odor towels and a competitive brand on the other. The “BO towel” with the competitive brand smelled like…well…floral scented body odor – it was pretty gross. The towel with the Febreze had absolutely no smell whatsoever. You can also learn about the three other types of odor cleaning technologies and how and why Febreze cleans away stink here.

So great – Febreze works, but the big question for me was whether Febreze is safe or toxic. What’s really in the product and, more importantly, what’s not? Febreze products don’t have phthalates, formaldehyde or flammable propellants. All P&G products including Febreze ingredients are listed on SmartLabel (if you don’t have this app you need it!) and by the end of 2019 P&G will share online all fragrance ingredients down to 0.01 percent for all their products, which includes more than 2000 fragranced products.

Unfortunately, there is a great deal of misinformation and assumptions online about air fresheners that aren’t based on science or research. To address this, the Febreze team recently participated in the inaugural Household & Commercial Products Association Air Care Summit to share and assess the science behind air fresheners. The summit included academic and medical experts in toxicology, inhalation science, pediatrics and pulmonology medicine. The goal of the group is to help consumers make informed decisions about the Air Care products they use and provide accurate information.

I was amazed at how much I learned at this summit and have been talking Febreze OdorClear technology with my family ever since! Stay tuned as I’ll be posting some real-world experiments with Febreze of my own.

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