Fabric fresheners potentially harmful to health, warns consumer center


The National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan has issued a warning about the harmful effects of inhaling clothes freshening and deodorizing sprays.

According to the center, current Japanese consumer law guidelines concerning printed warnings apply to waterproofing sprays, but do not apply to sprays sold to make clothes smell fresh, Sankei Shimbun reported Friday. The center said fluorine resin was found in four of the seven major brands of such sprays. The size of the particles and the adherence ratio is such that inhaling the spray could be a health risk, the center warned.

The center asserts that the dangers of poisoning are not properly labeled on such sprays and is appealing to the government to legislate for more visible warnings on potentially poisonous products.

© Japan Today

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Ok, and why wasn't this done sooner?

Many of these sprays if I recall correctly originated in other countries. and were imported and then licensed for manufacture here. Are the ingredients included different here? Otherwise, did the manufacturers place proper labeling on their products overseas too and if so why not here? Hmmm....

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

That is scary!! Name and shame the 7 brands, I say.

Are they talking about Febreze and things here, or actually fabric fresheners you put in the washing machin?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Enough information to scare, but not enough to make an informed choice.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Are they talking about Febreze and things here, or actually fabric fresheners you put in the washing machin?

Read the second line, they are talking about sprays.

The TV has been full of adverts for these products for the last year or more, sprays for shoes, clothes, bedding etc. All they do is mask the original smell with an even stronger one and lead people to believe that they don't need to wash or clean up.

Like so many other BS adverts on TV here for miracle cures for the effects of old age etc., they need to be regulated properly as people are being ripped off due to their own naivety.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

As if anyone would be surprised spraying chemicals all over is dagerous. It is so 1950's-and-smoking-is-cool-and-not-at-all-dangerous-oops-it-was naive. Just like Harry said above, just a chemical cover of all things foul smelling without cleaning anything clean.

Use your common sense, peeps.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Agreed, very 1950's. Maybe that's why they sell so well in Japan.

As others have said, if they're dangerous to health, why not ban them?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Read the second line, they are talking about sprays.

Yes ... but I would personally include stuff like fabreeze in that category too? I never buy these products, and therefore know nothing about them.

I dont understand why people would use these in the first place, why not just wash it in the washing machine?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Monday-underwear=front . Tuesday=front to back. Wednesday=inside out front. Thursday= inside out front to back. Friday = Spray with clothes freshner. Saturday= Wash. Sunday= go commando.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

While I agree there should be warnings.. Surely this is pretty obvious.. Breathing chemicals is bad for you.

No big surprise right?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

NZ2011, you astutely comprehend the obvious. Sadly, too many people rely on Nanny to hold their hand through life. As my friend says, "Never insert a 747 up your nose. No, I do not recommend it." Seems pretty obvious that inhaling any laboratory-created chemical compound spray would have negative effects. Yep, no big surprise.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

With fabric "fresheners", I think what you have to be careful about is actually inhaling the spray itself (while applying). Once it has been applied to a specific area its odor is not dangerous. If you use an air-freshener, you should be very careful not to inhale any of the spray while it is still airborne. Similarly, the fumes of liquids for dealing with mold, like the very popular, "kabi-killer", are extremely dangerous to inhale, but those dangers are very clearly labeled on the package. The NCACJ would like to see these kinds of warnings on deodorizing sprays. Interesting and informational article here:

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Poisons containing fluorine are well known for killing insects and rodents and the very few organisms that incorporate fluorine in their biochemistry do so to make natural poisons. If a fluorine is transferred to a body cell, it blocks metabolism at the position occupied.[154] Elemental fluorine is highly toxic. Above a concentration of 25 ppm, fluorine causes significant irritation while attacking the eyes, respiratory tract, lungs, liver and kidneys. At a concentration of 100 ppm, human eyes and noses are seriously damaged.[175] Chronic excess fluoride consumption can lead to skeletal fluorosis, a disease of the bones that affects millions in Asia and Africa.[177][178] The fluoride ion is readily absorbed by the stomach and intestines. Ingested fluoride forms hydrofluoric acid in the stomach. In this form, fluoride crosses cell membranes and then binds with calcium and interfere with various enzymes. Currently, most calls to poison control centers for possible fluoride poisoning come from the ingestion of fluoride-containing toothpaste.[177]

=you fabric freshener with fluorine should be able to kill roaches.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

billyshears: "Once it has been applied to a specific area its odor is not dangerous."

There's nothing dangerous about the 'odor' at all, it's the chemicals.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do they spray this stuff on aircraft seats?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do they spray this stuff on aircraft seats?<

Why do you ask? I don't recommend inhaling the effluvia of aircraft seats, despite your inclinations. I'm a foot man, myself.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites