Scented Trashbags: Killing You Softly

Have you seen those Febreze commercials with the pseudo-scientific experiments in which people are blindfolded and exposed to garbage?  When the blindfolds are removed people are elated and overjoyed that they couldn’t smell the filth right below their noses.  There is no miracle odor-elimination chemical at work here—just the work of toxic chemicals.

As if spraying this stuff around the house wasn’t enough, now household garbage just got a lot more disgusting.  The Glad Products Company—the makers of Glad garbage bags—decided it wasn’t enough that people are breathing Febreze in so-called “air fresheners,” they’ve started adding it to their garbage bags as well, under the guise of “OdorShield.”  But what exactly are you breathing when you use these Febreze-infused garbage bags?  According to Proctor and Gamble—the makers of Febreze—there are three ingredients in its product.  But, according to the Environmental Working Group, an American-based non-profit that advocates for health protection, there are a whopping 89 chemicals in Febreze Air Effects.

The Glad Products Company states on its website:  “Glad is committed to doing everything we can to create a better environment for generations to come.”  You might disagree once you know about the chemicals in their Febreze-infused garbage bags.

These bags give me a headache, and probably do more damage that I’m not aware of.


Here is some information about 11 of the disease-causing chemicals in Febreze…and now in Glad garbage bags too:

1,3-Dichloro-2-propanol—a carcinogen (causes cancer)

Acetaldehyde—a carcinogen that also causes reproductive and developmental effects (potentially damages a fetus).  It is also an immune system toxin, and irritant to the skin, eyes, and lungs. 

Alcohol, denatured—This is one of the three disclosed ingredients in Febreze. In this form it has been linked to cancer, birth defects, organ system toxicity, and skin, eyes, and lung irritation

Benzaldehyde— a neurotoxin and skin, lung, and eye irritator

BHT—a known neurotoxin (substance that is toxic to the brain and nervous system), a hormone disruptor, immune system toxin, and irritant to the skin, eyes, and lungs.

Butylphenyl methylpropional—an allergen, irritant, and immune system toxin

Ethyl acetate—another brain and nervous system toxin (neurotoxin) which is also linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity

Fragrance—This is also one of the three disclosed ingredients.  However, on its own, it can contain up to 400 ingredients, most of which are petrochemicals. Clinical observation by medical doctors has found that exposure to fragrances can damage the central nervous system and cause depression, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope, behavioral damages, headaches, dizziness, rashes, hyper-pigmentation, vomiting, coughing, and skin irritation. A shocking 95 percent of the chemicals used as “fragrance” come from petroleum!

Limonene—an allergen, immune system toxin and skin, lungs, and eye irritant

Methyl pyrrolidone—Reproductive system toxin linked to birth defects, allergies, immune system toxicity, and skin, eyes, and lung irritation

Propylene Glycol—also a known carcinogen, propylene glycol is toxic to the immune system, is linked to allergies, accumulates in the body and irritates the skin, eyes, and lungs

These are just some of the 89 ingredients in Febreze.  For the full EWG report on Febreze, click here.

Most times they don’t even tell you they are scented and contain these wretched chemicals. When you buy trash bags at the store, open them up first and give them a sniff.


Tell the Glad Product Company that it is unacceptable to add the toxic ingredients found in Febreze to their garbage bags just to mask odors.

Tell Proctor and Gamble to come clean and stop duping the public about Febreze.


Air Fresheners Are Toxic: Use Natural Alternatives

1 comment on Scented Trashbags: Killing You Softly

  1. I’m trying to determine if a plastic bag manufacturer named PolyWest manufactures scented bags for Glad. If so, their nearby plant that vents Febreze type odors into the air would have the health concerns discussed in the Glad related study. And, if not, what are the odds that the same chemicals are used in their bag production for other brand names?

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