Teen 'air detective' warns of dangers of using fresheners

·2-min read

A teenage campaigner has warned that automated air fresheners could be emitting 

harmful levels of cancer and asthma-causing chemicals in our homes.

Tom Hunt, 14, from Chesham, Bucks, has been conducting research on indoor air quality and automatic air fresheners during lockdown.

Earlier this year, with the help of a monitor attached to his pet labrador Baggy,  Tom found air pollution levels were far worse at child level than those recorded in official figures.

His findings were widely publicised and led Tom being given an 'Atmotube Pro' air

pollution monitor to investigate air quality indoors.

Tom, said: "When the automatic air freshener was placed in the room the harmful pollutants all increased with the AQS (Air Quality Standard) decreasing (due to poor air quality and harmful pollutants).

"The air quality was also reduced in the room the longer the automatic air freshener was in the room, with pollutants reducing the clean air.

"The figures are staggering showing between four to 10 times worse air

quality with the automatic air freshener inside a room with the air quality reduced to almost half!"

In fact when Tom went to open the door to retrieve the automatic air freshener  - the 'Atmotube Pro' hand held monitor alarm stated 'Leave the room due to dangerous pollutants'.

He added: "We need to raise our community's awareness to these harmful products. "

"The perception of these products is that they are clean and people truly believe they are freshening up their homes. "

"But in actual fact when people use automatic air fresheners are causing long-term harmful effects to their family's lungs, heart and organs."

"Think twice before using an automatic air freshener! Protect the ones you love, including your family pets."

Tom's air quality campaign continues and come September when high numbers of children are back at school, he believes that air quality monitors should be fitted in classrooms at low levels to help protect their lungs, and not have any air fresheners.

On Tuesday senior Tory MP Dame Cheryl Gillan spoke about Tom and Baggy's findings and their campaign in Parliament, as part of a debate on business, energy and industrial strategy.

Tom has recently released his book Baggy and Me: An Indoor Air Pollution Survival Guide.

He also plans to release a second survival guide, along with practical tips on how we can all do our bit, to reduce our exposure to outdoor air pollution.