All I Wanted Was Some “Fresh” Air

A new study by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reported in last week’s issue of Time Magazine found that 12 out of 14 air freshners purchased at a local Walgreens contained chemicals called phthalates. Time reports:

“Studies involving rat and human subjects have suggested that high exposures to certain kinds of phthalates can cause cancer, developmental and sex-hormone abnormalities (including decreased testosterone and sperm levels and malformed sex organs) in infants, and can affect fertility. In 2004, the European Union banned two types of phthalates in cosmetics and also bans the chemical in children’s toys, as do 14 other countries. The first state bill to ban phthalates in children’s toys in the U.S. is currently sitting on California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk, and he is expected to sign it this week.”

The fall out for the study so far: Managers at 111 Walgreens stores in Minnesota and thousands more nationwide removed three different varieties of air fresheners from their shelves over the weekend.

Study details here.