By Jennifer McPartland , Ph.D., is a Health Scientist
Kyle Ward is an intern in EDF's Health Program
August 15, 2012
When you think of air fresheners what is the first thing that comes to mind? Fresh spring flowers? French vanilla? Reduced Heart Rate Variability? While that last one may not be on everyone’s mind, it certainly has been for one team of scientists. They have recently conducted the first study ever to examine the potential for exposure to household cleaning sprays, air fresheners and scented products to adversely affect people’s cardiovascular systems. Their findings, published in last month’s Environmental Health Perspectives, show a linkage between long-term use of household sprays and scented products and reduced heart rate variability (HRV). Reduced HRV is associated with increased risk for a host of negative health effects ranging from heart attack to death.