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Can Incense Protect Your Home From Coronavirus?

Dear Mama, 

As Omnicron and other variants of coronavirus continue to impact us all, we see more and more use of chemical sprays.  This is concerning as the chemicals in common disinfectant sprays are extremely harmful.  

It is cruel irony that you are being sold these sprays as a way to keep you and your family safe, yet they turn out to be extremely hazardous.  In studies, prolonged and continual exposure to common disinfectant sprays were equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes a day for decades on your health.

Prolonged exposure to common disinfectant sprays were the equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes a day for decades on your health

Is there anything for a Mama to do?  We think there is much better and healthier options.

Health Impacts of Disinfectant Sprays

The impact on you and your family's health from these harsh chemical sprays is scary.

We all know better than to smoke, especially to not introduce second hand smoke around your children.  But due to marketing, many of us don't think twice about spraying Lysol & Febreeze on all sorts of surfaces.  

Disinfectant Sprays are toxic and shouldn't be used on fabric despite the commercials

Lysol and Febreeze even advertise themselves as fabric cleaners with commercials of mothers spraying down bedroom pillows.  According to the previously quoted study, this is the equivalent to your child inhaling cigarette smoke for 8 hours as they have their face in their pillow all night. 

You wouldn't let your child chain-smoke for 8 hours would you?

To make matters even worse, it is speculated that the chemicals in these sprays damage you through many different avenues.  This casts a wide net of ways to cause negative impact to you:

  • Triggering immune system dysfunction
  • Inflaming the mucous membranes
  • Damaging the cells on structural and tissue levels

All of the above is before you consider the additional impact of artificial fragrances added into these disinfectant sprays to cover up the chemical smell. 

Artificial Fragrances are Full of Toxic Chemicals

Artificial fragrances are a labeling loophole that allow for cancerous, endocrine disrupting, and birth-defect causing chemicals to be included without being listed.  If you see 'fragrance' or 'parfum' on the label, this is a catchall that the FDA allows companies to put any chemical they want under.  

We wrote an entire post on just the dangers of artificial fragrances.

Even if you choose an unscented version of the product, all that means is the company adds neutral scent to the product.  All the chemicals in the spray have a smell, therefore to make the result not have a smell, artificial fragrances with a neutral smell are added.  These neutral smelling chemicals tend to be phthalates, known hormone disruptors.

Masks & Disinfectants

We have seen parents use disinfectants on masks and then put them back on their face and their child's face.  

Spraying disinfectant on a mask and breathing it in is like smoking cigarettes all day

We feel for these Moms, they are trying to keep their kids safe, but the result is forcing you to breathe in all these chemicals as they fully engulf your mouth and nose.    And the big chemical cleaner companies are absolutely encouraging this behavior to sell more disinfectants despite the dangers.

Disinfectant Sprays and Asthma

Chemical cleaning sprays have been linked to increased asthma symptoms and even new development of asthma in previously healthy people.  Researchers believe that the irritating features of the chemicals cause long-term damage, including impacting the ability to inhale fully and exhale forcefully.  

Additionally they speculate that the chemicals cause an increased sensitivity in the lungs to other pollutants making people more susceptible to shortness of breathe and wheezing.

Disinfectant Sprays and Skin Rashes

National Institute of Health also warns about skin irritants and dermatitis caused by common chemicals in disinfectant sprays.  Many of these sprays have preservatives like methylisothiazolinone or similar chemicals that can cause serious skin issues.  

Worst yet, these chemicals are often found in products that are sold under the label of 'Natural'.

Disinfectant Sprays and VOCs

VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, are molecules that cause damage.  Glycol ethers, Terpenes, and other regulated toxic air contaminants are commonly used in these sprays.  These compounds interact with other particles in the air and cause damage when inhaled.

Disinfectant Sprays and 'Snot-nosed' Kids

Lastly, a study linked kids from homes where more chemical cleaners were used had 30-100% more likelihood of rhinitis. Rhinitis is the inflammation of the mucus membrane in the nose causing runny nose, congestion, and chronic sinus infections.

The higher the calculated 'chemical burden at home' the higher the resulting rhinitis symptoms that showed up.  

What Options are Better than Chemical Disinfectants?

Whew....we need a breather.  That last section on the dangers of chemical disinfectants was a beast. 

Spraying Lysol and Febreeze is just as healthy as smoking cigarettes

If this was an old-timey movie, we would slump in a chair and light a smoke.  But since it is 2022, maybe we will just spray a little Lysol above our heads, same terrible health impact...zing.

It is terrifying, especially if you as a Mama have been using these sprays in an effort to keep your kids safe.

It isn't your fault.  No Mom Guilt on this.  The marketing is very very good.

Nobody is sounding the alarm loud enough about this issue and the big companies have all the financial incentive to continue to push for the use of sprays.  So now you know better than to use the sprays, but it raises the question, what can you use?

Air Purifiers Help Clean the Air

Air purifiers do a good job of removing nearly all contaminants in the air that they can process.  If you put an air purifier in a suitable sized room, it will make that one space have neutralized air.  Most air purifiers will remove virus, fungus, and bacteria from the air.  

They genuinely are tremendously beneficial and we would recommend them.

However, the prices of air purifiers make them unaffordable for many people.  A quality Air Purifier can easily cost $500 and more.  And remember, you likely need more than one if you want whole house protection. 

Incense and Smudging As a Low Cost Alternative Air Purifier

As shocking as it may sound, incense and smudging can help cleanse the air while leaving a wonderful, natural smell.  

If you are new to incense, you can read all about it here.

If you want to know more about smudge sticks you can start here.

Positive smoke of incense can cleanse the negative viruses in the air

Incense uses the roots, bark, flowers, berries, and resin of of plants while smudge sticks use whole plant material. These are all truly natural elements.  There are other differences between incense and smudge sticks, but the important part is they are clean and have been used for thousands of years across cultures.

More importantly, the natural plant materials that make up the aromatics of incense and smudge sticks can actually cleanse the air of pathogens. 

For example, burning sage has been proven to remove 94% of bacteria in the air Frankincense & Myrrh both have been shown to have anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal effects when used in incense.  

These products all have low costs similar to chemical air fresheners too.  Low cost and none of the terrible side effects of the fake chemical sprays.  

Incense & Smudge Sticks and COVID19

Obviously, the novel coronavirus is a relatively new form of the disease.  That makes it hard for any studies specific to this mutation to have been completed.  Additionally, conducting studies are expensive.  Reckitt and Proctor & Gamble, the makers of Lysol and Febreeze respectively, can fund studies to put in their marketing. 

The incense and smudge stick industry is mostly small local sellers and obviously can't compete financially.  They can't fund studies and they don't have a combined advertising plan.

However, seeing as COVID19 is a specific mutation of the coronavirus. And other coronavirus strains cause are part of the multitude of viruses that fall under the umbrella of the "common cold".  And since many of the same prevention methods that work for the common cold are being shown to be helpful in preventing the spread of both.  There is reason to speculate incense and smudge sticks may help in stopping the spread of the corona virus.

Wrap-up on Incense to Help with Coronavirus

There you have it.  There appears to be a chance that the effectiveness of incense and smudge sticks against pathogens could carry over to the Sars-Covid-19 variant.  

At a bare minimum, chemical air cleaners are atrocious for your health.  

We think the trade off of using a more natural air cleanser is well worth it vs. the known effects of artificial scents and toxic chemicals.


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