I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although this product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. This post contains affiliate links.
What are the health concerns about indoor air pollution?
A few years ago, I learned that there was formaldehyde in my conditioner (DMDM hydantoin). My jaw dropped open for a good 30 seconds. How was this possible? I used to think that government safety regulation prevented anything too harmful from being used in personal care products. That was before I began reading ‘There’s Lead in your Lipstick’ by Gillian Deacon. Apparently there is virtually no industry regulation on what ingredients companies can put in their products.
Over time, I also learned that the same lack of health safety regulation is true for scents, fragrances and chemical air pollutants. I bought a new area rug and the smell gave me a serious headache. I did some research and learned that unhealthy odours are caused by “Volatile Organic Compounds” (VOCs), which are gases emitted from indoor materials. VOCs are emitted from furniture, drapes, carpets, foam insulation, particle board, and other common items. Other VOC sources include personal care products like hair spray or perfume, as well as paints, lacquers, and cleaning supplies. Health concerns caused by VOCs include: “eye, nose and throat irritation, shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and skin problems. Higher concentrations may cause irritation of the lungs, as well as damage to the liver, kidney, or central nervous system. Some VOCs are suspected to cause cancer in humans and have been shown to cause cancer in animals.”
VOCs are of particular concern to many people with chronic illness, who may have fragrance allergies and sensitivities. For people with a condition called Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), in particular, VOCs pose a daily threat to health and well-being.
How can Enviroklenz products help you breathe safer?
Even though I knew about the health concerns associated with VOCs, I didn’t know if there was much I could do about these risks. That’s why I was excited to have the opportunity to review a product by a company called Enviroklenz. This company is focused on producing a range of products that improve the indoor air quality of people who live with fragrance allergies/sensitivities, MCS, and environmental allergies/sensitivities, as well as anyone concerned about reducing their daily toxin exposure.
Since I was buying a new mattress protector, I decided to review the Everyday Odor Eliminator. This product deodorizes and cleans carpets, upholstery, furniture and flooring. The ingredients include water, magnesium oxide, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These earth minerals, which are non-toxic, attach to pollutants and either neutralize or destroy them. There are no fragrances or masking agents.
My experience testing the Everyday Odor Eliminator:
Applying the Everyday Odor Eliminator is easy enough – directly apply it to the fabric or flooring, undiluted, or spray with a pump sprayer. I used a spray bottle. Test it on an inconspicuous spot first. A white residue forms after application. Removing the product is a little more difficult. After leaving it for 15 minutes, the liquid can be removed by wet extraction, wet vacuum, spot extraction or carpet shampooing (but don’t use it in place of soap or detergent). I used a shop vacuum. If any white residue remains, it can be removed by brushing, vacuuming, wiping or washing.
The Everyday Odour Eliminator worked well. There wasn’t any remaining “new mattress smell”, meaning a reduction in VOCs emitted after the treatment. The white residue was removed after two vacuuming sessions. Overall, I was happy with this product and I would recommend it for anyone worried about unhealthy odours coming from furniture, carpets or flooring.
I am interested in trying other Enviroklenz products like the laundry enhancer, odor neutralizing granules, and the odor neutralizing hand soap. Although beyond my personal needs, for people severely affected by multiple chemical sensitivities, Enviroklenz also retails a medical grade HEPA filter air purifier. You can find the Everyday Odor Eliminator and other products here.
Here are a few additional tips for reducing exposure to VOCs in your home:
- Make sure you get enough fresh, clean air into your home.
- Increase ventilation by opening windows and doors after you bring new VOC sources into your house, such as new carpets, furniture, or drapes
- Do not allow smoking in or near your home; smoking is a source of many pollutants, including VOCs.
- If it is not possible to remove the source of VOCs, reduce exposure by sealing surfaces like particle board or paneling with an impermeable sealant, such as polyurethane varnish or latex paint.
- Allow gases from new furnishings and building materials to be given off in storage for at least a few weeks before you bring them into your home. If this is not possible, increase the ventilation by opening windows and doors in your home for a few weeks.
- Buy only enough paints, cleaners and solvents for immediate use to prevent the need to store these products in your home. Follow instructions on the product label. Keep lids on tightly. Store products in a separate room; preferably an outdoor shed, or in areas with proper ventilation.
- Do not bring recently dry-cleaned clothing into your home if it still has a strong smell. Leave the clothing at the shop, or take it out of the plastic wrapping and hang it in a ventilated area until it is properly dried.