In the world of Industrial cleaning supplies the use of odour supressants has become a surprisingly controversial topic. Criticised for containing chemicals that can aggravate asthma and affect reproductive development the safety of air fresheners has long been questioned. If you smell a rat and think it 's time for a breath of fresh air then take time to learn a little more about air fresheners.Air fresheners work in one of five ways;
This is the process where adsorbents are used to absorb odours. Absorption refers to the chemical process where atoms, molecules, or ions enter a bulk phase; gas, liquid or solid. For the layman this is where the bad smelly chemicals in the air are attracted to a base and a chemical reaction happens that makes the bad smells turn into something that doesn't smell. In air fresheners this is typically activated charcoal or silica gel.
Chemical neutralisation involves adding chemicals to stabilise the pH level of the air. High levels of acidity or alkalinity can cause smells and the right balance of chemical additives will alleviate the smell. Air fresheners use substances such as rubber to perform this process.
Bacterial activity is the cause of many unwanted odours. Disinfectants can eliminate these odours by killing the odour causing bacteria. Industrial cleaning supplies contain high level disinfectants that can kill up to 99.9% of micro-organisms. The disadvantage to having such effective disinfectants is that they are by their very nature harmful and potentially toxic to humans and animals.
Masking is simply covering unwanted smells with a more favourable fragrance. Most aerosol air fresheners work in this way by providing more favourable perfume flavours such as Lavender, Raspberry, Tangerine, Lemon and Pine. Joss sticks also work in this way and although they are not used as industrial cleaning supplies they are a popular household option.
Anesthetisation refers to those air fresheners that use anaesthetic to dull the sense of smell. Chemicals such as formaldehyde are used to reduce the ability to smell. Formaldehyde can be toxic and if it exceeds a 0.1ppm concentration in the air it can irritate mucous membranes and make your eyes water.
Air freshener products
Air fresheners produced for vehicles are typically solid pieces of material that can be hung from the rear view mirror. These air fresheners are embedded with a scent that overpowers the mal odour in the vehicle. Plug in air fresheners are typically used in houses they release a measurable amount of scent into the environment to reduce the effect of the bad odours. Public toilets often have an automated air freshener that sprays a fine mist into the air at pre-determined intervals. Aerosol air fresheners are a popular portable option that can provide relief in an enormous range of situations. Potpourri is a traditional form of air freshener that is both fragrant and can look good. It comprises of naturally fragrant materials that have been dried and mixed with other naturally fragrant plant material. Lighting sented candels made from natural products or natural incense sticks can be an environmentally friendly way to freshen the air. Air freshener can be purchased in liquid form and can provide a powerful option when used with the correct industrial cleaning equipment.
Air freshener has been criticised by some consumer groups due to fears over its safety. Their main criticism is that there are not enough regulations in place to ensure that products are tested properly and that manufacturers should clearly list the ingredients their products contain on the product label. Reports had been made that some air fresheners were responsible for the death of household pets but this is unsubstantiated. The University of Bristol 's Children of the 90s study published a report that said that children that grew up in houses that used aerosol air freshener were more likely to suffer from headaches and diarrhoea. Air fresheners are required by legislation to be safe in normal use.
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