People started using more cleaning products in their homes and workspaces during the coronavirus pandemic and most of them are scented products. The Americans particularly tend to use scented or fragranced products for cleaning their house than any other nation.
There is an increased demand in the market for scented disinfecting sprays, hand sanitizers, detergents, wipes, and soaps. Recently, a study published in the journal Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health mentioned the increase in the use of scented products over America and other countries as well.
People are now washing their hands more frequently than before and cleaning common places such as door handles and knobs with scented wipes. However, there is little to no evidence that the novel coronavirus can spread through contact with commonplaces. Particularly in homes, it is useless to clean every surface as the household members spend the time there.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coronavirus does not commonly spread through surfaces. There is little to no chance that a person will contract enough viral load through the surface transmission to become infected with the virus.
While there is little evidence of surface transmission of coronavirus, regular hand washing, and other hygiene practices will eliminate the chance of infection. Experts also suggest that the pleasantly scented products do not contribute to eliminating the virus from a surface. However, they can lead to other problems such as skin allergy, headache, asthma, heart problem, and even immune dysfunction.
A review published this year in Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health shed light on the harms of scented products used in everyday life. These include not only highly fragranced cleaning products but scented candles, hair sprays, and air fresheners as well.
Anne Steinemann is a professor from the University of Melbourne and the author of this review. She said that most people are exposed to air pollutants in an indoor setting. She also said that a major source of indoor air pollutants includes scented products. Some of the commonly used fragrance products include air fresheners, candles, and cleaning products.
Scented products usually have the word perfume and fragrance in the ingredients list. However, it does not specify the exact chemicals used to produce this fragrance. The fragrance can contain a multitude of different chemicals that can harm health in several ways.
These products usually contain volatile organic compounds (VOC) that can disrupt the level of hormones in the body. These chemicals affect the endocrine system of the body which can lead to disruption of hormone levels.
Usage of fragranced products is not the only problem but the increase in consumption of antimicrobial agents to disinfect surfaces can cause several problems. These disinfectants can help get rid of the virus from the surface but they have negative effects as well. These agents consist of compounds toxic for the endocrine health of humans.
These products can harm human health in the long run and it is essential to avoid any such risks. The first step can be getting rid of scented products including disinfecting liquids and sanitizers. A fragrance-free product is much less toxic for the air and human health.