Unlike the pollution of outdoor air, that of indoor air remains relatively unknown. However, the health agency Anses (National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety) claims that we spend on average 85% of our time in closed environments like home, moreover during confinement. In this period of pandemic, in addition to the question of drug treatments, the Asthma et Allergies association affirms that many attitudes based on received ideas can lead to harmful behavior endangering patients. The latter particularly wishes to recall that the essential oils, incense and deodorants should be avoided because they are irritating or even allergenic.
Indeed, it is not recommended to use them to clean up an enclosed space, even during the coronavirus epidemic and even less by a person at risk (asthmatic). Starting with essential oils, which “at any time, whether they are burned, applied to the skin or used to make household products, are potentially dangerous because they are sources of irritation, particularly in patients. people with allergies or asthma », Says the association. The latter can indeed trigger bronchial irritation, respiratory discomfort, even asthma attacks, as explained by ANSES and the poison control centers which recently reported numerous poisonings of this type in connection with Covid-19. .
“All that is natural is not devoid of danger”
“Throughout the year, pulmonologists and allergists see patients arriving in the office or hospital whose symptoms have been triggered by these practices,” adds the association. Same with regard to incense, Armenian paper, Berger lamps, candles, room fragrances, deodorants …: none of these products has demonstrated any scientific or medical proof of effectiveness. Conversely, they are all likely to be just as irritating or even allergenic. “Contrary to popular belief, all that is” natural “is not devoid of potential danger, all are to be avoided if you are allergic and / or asthmatic », Concludes the latter.
Note that this risk generally concerns combustible or non-combustible deodorants (sprays, diffuser gels, wicks or sticks soaked in liquid perfume, automatic diffusers, etc.), because their use generates emissions of volatile substances in indoor air. On this subject, Adème (Ecological Transition Agency, formerly the Environment and Energy Management Agency) explains, for example, that main volatile pollutants emitted by incense are benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, styrene, formaldehyde and acrolein.
“The highest emissions are during combustion and during the hour after the end of combustion before decreasing under the effect of aeration. », Attests the organization in a recent study.
The latter also evokes the dangerousness of certain practices (high frequency and duration of use, several products used together, etc.) and certain environmental characteristics (volume of the room, air renewal rate, etc.). Without forgetting the risk associated with simultaneous exposure to all indoor pollutants, as Asef (Association santé Environnement France) explains in its “little guide to indoor air health” : DIY products, decoration, furniture, paints, cleaning products or cigarettes. This is why the only solution according to her is to “ ventilate in full every day at least 15 minutes, summer and winter. ” Additional ventilation must be added to this if you do housework, cooking or work, more frequent activities during confinement.