Are Odors Harmful?


We’re pretty spoiled over here at La Petite Maison—we are constantly surrounded by great smelling air and can change up the fragrance on a whim thanks to Lampe Berger. But I was sitting here wondering, other than odors such as pet, smoke and garbage being icky and offensive, do odors have any other effect on your body? Here’s what I discovered:

Health- Can odors affect it?

Direct Chemical Hazards
Some chemicals one can smell can be directly harmful to the body.

1. Secondhand smoke is a perfect example. It is known to contain both cancer-causing chemicals and particulates.
2. Construction materials can contain harmful chemicals. Some foam insulations and plastics are known to give off volatile organic compounds (VOC). This simply means that the molecules are light enough to become gas and float off into the air. We often detect some of these as “new building smell.” Many of them have been shown to have harmful effects over the long-term, leading to cancer and other kinds of tissue damage
3. Finishing products may also contain toxic chemicals. New carpeting, upholstery, paints and varnishes also produce VOCs. Most VOCs come from the fact that they were manufactured from petrochemicals- they are oil/ petroleum based. Like those from construction products, these can be inhaled or even absorbed through the skin. The effects of a lifetime of exposure to these types of products is just beginning to be understood.
4. Cleaning products can also contain harmful VOCs. All of the same information applies.
5. Pesticides can be dangerous or even deadly. Never use even products marketed for the home in a poorly ventilated space. Compounds in pesticides are meant to cause death to certain organisms. While the particular chemical may not be directly lethal, or in a high enough concentration to be fatal to humans, they may cause some damage. They also may accumulate in body tissues with repeated exposure.

Yet another reason to invest in a Lampe Berger—since it was invented to clean the air, you’ll be a lot healthier with it in your home. Practical and pretty!