Glade Best Feelings Campaign – Asthma, Migraines, and More

You may have seen the latest campaign from Glade air fresheners – “inspired by the best feelings in the world.” Just follow their hashtag #bestfeelings on Twitter to play along with their social media campaign. (Just beware of some of the jokesters who inevitably got a little dirty with the idea).

“The scent of #peaceful is a smoky chimney in the winter breeze. #bestfeelings

“Whether it’s inside or out, the scent of pine will make your moments #peaceful. #bestfeelings

#Optimism smells like your pillow on your day off.” OK, that one just doesn’t make any sense.

As the brand page waxes poetic,

Glade has always been about inspiring people through scent.
And scent makes us feel like nothing else can.
We realize that today, we need scent more than ever:
Scents that shift our feelings;
Scents that carry us away;
Scents that make us feel a world of emotions.”

I don’t know about you, but my best feelings usually don’t come from a chemical fragrance induced migraine or asthma attack. Personally, I prefer the smell of real lemons, fresh flowers – quite honestly, even a dirty diaper!

This just feels like another clever marketing campaign duping consumers while messing with the planet and our health.

Several months ago 52,000 consumers asked Glade to disclose the fragrance ingredients in its products. And SC Johnson’s only response has been, “Consumers have a choice whether or not to buy products that contain fragrance.” Lovely.

Meanwhile the company can’t seem to emphasize enough how dedicated they are to “honesty” and “transparency.” You may have seen SC Johnson’s CEO in commercials talking about how the company discloses ingredients “right down to the dyes and fragrances.” (Even better, watch a funny spoof video on their ad campaign.)

In recent months Glade did release a master list of nearly 1,500 chemicals they use in their fragranced products – but they don’t tell you which chemicals are in which products.


Here are just a few (from Women’s Voices for the Earth):

  • Synthetic musks: potential hormone disruptors which are bioaccumulative and may break down the body’s defenses against other toxic exposures.
  • All 26 of the allergens currently disclosed on SCJ product labels in the European Union (EU). SCJ doesn’t disclose these allergens on product labels in the US because they are not required to by law.
  • Several additional allergens, which have been deemed of concern in the EU.
  • Several chemicals of concern identified by an EU panel as having no publicly available human safety data.
  • Terpenes, which can react with ground level ozone in the air to form cancer-causing formaldehyde.
  • Petroleum – the same compound in gasoline.

WVE also did independent testing of Glade products that revealed the presence of phthalates, which the company committed to phase out two years before (SC Johnson claimed this was a contamination issue.) According to Cassidy Randall from WVE:

One study in the U.K. of 14,000 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. In homes where air fresheners and aerosol sprays were used on most days, women experienced 25% more headaches and 19% more post-natal depression than women in homes where such products were used less than once a week. Babies under six months old who were exposed to air fresheners on most days had 30% more ear infections and a 22% greater chance of diarrhea than babies exposed less than once a week.

#BestFeelings indeed.

As I can personally attest, sense of smell can significantly improve once chemical fragrances are eliminated from your lifestyle. On the plus side, roses and oranges have never smelled so sweet. On the minus side, now the once beloved smell of Chanel Mademoiselle gives me a headache and I can smell a cigarette from a mile away.

Here are a few more takes on the dangers of conventional air fresheners:

You can take action three simple ways:

And here are a few alternatives to fragranced cleaning products:

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