Very interesting article from Advertising Age. Here’s a snippet:

Their concern is that phthalates, a chemical found in some air fresheners, have been shown in some lab-animal studies to disrupt testosterone production and cause malformation of sex organs. Some studies of humans have linked exposure to the chemicals with adverse changes in the genitals of baby boys. The groups’ petition also said volatile organic compounds such as benzene, linked to cancer, can be found in some of the air fresheners, though it did not specify levels of that chemical in individual products.

While marketers challenged the validity of research by the NRDC, which tested 14 products for sale at Walgreens for phthalates, the drugstore chain has pulled three of its own private-label air fresheners off shelves of its 5,850 stores nationwide and initiated testing of other brands. The Walgreens brands had the highest levels of phthalates among the products tested.

“Even prior to the release of the report, the manufacturer of one of the private-label products already had been in the process of reformulating it,” a Walgreens spokeswoman said. “So in some sense, they were already aware of the concern, but we were not aware of the concern.”

For the full article see: Fear of Phthalates Spreads to $1B Air-Freshener Category