Make car sharing safe from toxic scents - ban harmful air fresheners.

Make car sharing safe from toxic scents - ban harmful air fresheners.

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Alexandra Ulmer started this petition to Uber and

            Everyone should have the ability to breathe easily as a ride-sharing customer. Unfortunately, many drivers use toxic air fresheners that can cause both discomfort and serious health effects for passengers. The little tree hanging off the rear-view mirror may look innocent enough, but air fresheners of all types are now understood to be damaging to health. This includes, but is not limited to Febreeze, Glade products, and car-specific scents. For those with chemical sensitivity, they cause an immediate reaction ranging from headaches to nausea.

      When hiring an Uber or Lyft, one has no way of knowing if the car will be safe from toxic scents. Apart from adding stress and discomfort to a ride, it's unsafe. This has to stop. Customers should be protected from the hazardous common chemicals in air fresheners. The EPA states that exposure to the VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) found in air fresheners can cause cancer, damage to the central nervous system, and liver and kidney issues for those without sensitivity to fragrance. These include VOC’s, formaldehyde, benzene, phthalates, and 1,4 dichlorobenzene. These chemicals are absorbed quickly when inhaled. Pregnant women, children and those with asthma are especially sensitive to the toxic compounds in everyday scents. Customers need protection and agency over harmful scent exposure which accumulates with every ride. Drivers should first maintain clean, scent-free cars, and then use essential oils or completely natural odor neutralizers such as charcoal if desired.

Example of proven health dangers (from toxindetective.com)

·  A 2006 study, as reported by MSN, found that being exposed to so-called “air fresheners” as little as once a week can increase a person’s odds of developing asthma by as much as 71% and can contribute to an increase in pulmonary diseases.  The study also found that people with high blood levels of the chemical 1,4-dichlorobenze (commonly found in popular air fresheners) were more likely to experience a decline in lung function.

·  A study published in a 2007 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine had similar findings reporting that regular use of air freshener sprays can increases a person’s risk of developing asthma by 30 to 50 percent. This study was performed by the European Community Respiratory Health Survey and collected data from 3,500 people in 10 European countries.

·  A study of pregnant women showed a link between the use of air fresheners and aerosol sprays and an increase in headaches and depression in the mothers, as well as ear infections and diarrhea in their babies.

·  Certain hormone-disrupting chemicals found in fragrance can have significant lifelong effects on reproductive health and development; this is true for galaxolide and tonalide (detected in human blood, breast milk, and even in newborns) and phthalates (linked to reproductive harm in baby boys).

· Women are two to three times more likely than men to suffer from fragrance allergies. Women also become sensitized earlier than men, at ages 20 to 29, versus ages 50 to 59 in men.

· Girls have higher sensitization rates to fragrance allergens than boys and studies show increasing diagnoses of allergic contact dermatitis and eczema in children.
Research indicates that the more an individual uses fragranced products, the higher the levels of fragrance chemicals in her or his body.

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