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Breathing problems since chemical air freshener installed in gym

could you direct me to any "official" studies possibly that "prove" that air fresheners can be toxic and dangerous to the health especially when installed in a gym/workout area where the lungs are affected the most?

My situation is this:
I live in an apartment complex and the apt. complex management recently decided to install air fresheners in the hallways the elevators....and also the gym.

When working out I experienced itching on my skin, a light stinging pain in my chest and breathing became very uncomfortable and it felt like the air was suddenly a lot more "dense" and harder to breathe in and I felt slightly dizzy. I know this sounds strange but after the workout I had an uncomfortable buzzing or vibrating feeling in my chest/lungs. It's hard to describe. I stopped working out there but lots of other people here in the building are still going.

I have talked to the apt. complex management about this. They tell me that apparently the majority of people want a "good" smell and so that is what they provide. They won't take them down unless I can show them some "official" study that proves air fresheners to be bad for your health. I'd be very grateful for any advice on this.
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replied March 18th, 2015
Hi, I understand you very well. Here is what responded to me to similar enquiry about air fresheners in the nursery:

Following your recent emails with regard to VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in your child’s nursery I have investigated the research a bit further to provide you with some more information on the issue. As I said previously it is true that VOCs do play a part in triggering asthma.
VOCs is a catch-all term used to describe a range of human-made and naturally occurring chemicals that are released as gases from various liquids and solids at room temperature and they can have various long-term and short-term harmful effects on human health. VOCs are given off by many household products including cleaning products, scented candles and spray air fresheners and laminate/furnishings/ paint. VOCs are typically not acutely toxic but can have long-term effects. Airborne concentrations may be two to five times higher indoors than outdoors.

A study published in Thorax (a very reputable and authoritative medical research journal) in 2004 concluded that exposure to VOCs at levels below currently accepted recommendations (from the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia where the study was carried out) may increase the risk of childhood asthma and that measurement of total VOCs may underestimate the risks associated with individual VOCs. More study is needed in this area for certainty so we can only say ‘may increase risk’ at this point.

There is now a greater responsibility placed on Early Years Settings, such as nurseries, around managing medical conditions and that means providing an environment which is as safe as it can be and that they 'act as a reasonably prudent parent' and this issue could be part of a risk assessment of the environment. Having scented candles, sprays, fresh paint and other products which emit VOCs is not ideal and could trigger an asthma attack in children and adults.
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replied March 18th, 2015
Further Evidence

Air Fresheners & Perfumes as Triggers

The National Asthma Panel is a stratified random sample of up to 1,500 people with asthma and parents of children with asthma. In 2006, 60% of participants said that perfumes were a trigger for their asthma symptoms. In the workplace, 8% of people with asthma say that perfumes and air fresheners trigger their asthma symptoms.

There is some published scientific evidence that perfumes and air fresheners can be a problem for some people who already have asthma, although we are not aware of any that suggests they can cause asthma in a person who doesn't already have it. Here are two examples:

Elberling J, Linneberg A, Dirksen A, Johansen JD, Frolund L, Madsen F, Nielsen NH, Mosbech H. Mucosal symptoms elicited by fragrance products in a population-based sample in relation to atopy and bronchial hyper-reactivity. Clin Exp Allergy. 2005 Jan;35(1):75-81
BACKGROUND: Exposure to perfume and fragrance products may, in some individuals, cause symptoms from the eyes and airways. The localization, character and risk factors of such symptoms in the general population are unknown……CONCLUSIONS: Mucosal symptoms from the eyes and airways were common in this population. Bronchial hyper-reactivity was a significant and independent predictor of these symptoms.

Lessenger JE. Occupational acute anaphylactic reaction to assault by perfume spray in the face. J Am Board Fam Pract. 2001 Mar-Apr;14(2):137-40.
BACKGROUND: Perfumes have been associated with rashes in employees exposed to scented soaps or with allergic conditions, such as rhinitis or asthma, in employees exposed to perfumes or fragrances in the air……… Perfumes are complex mixtures of more than 4,000 vegetable and animal extracts and organic and nonorganic compounds. Fragrances have been found to cause exacerbations of symptoms and airway obstruction in asthmatic patients, including chest tightening and wheezing, and are a common cause of cosmetic allergic contact dermatitis.

A variety of other VOCs, cleaning products, varnishes, glues, paints and other solvents may be used in schools. It is better to use solid or liquid alternatives rather than sprays where possible. It is best to use as little of the product as possible and to open windows. There have been some scientific studies that looked at the risk of developing asthma after exposure to VOCs. Here is one example:

Rumchev K, Spickett J, Bulsara M, Phillips M, Stick S. Association of domestic exposure to volatile organic compounds with asthma in young children.Thorax, 2004; Sep;59(9):746-51
Conclusions: Domestic exposure to VOCs at levels below currently accepted recommendations may increase the risk of childhood asthma.

Canova et al. (2013) - Systematic review on effects of domestic paints. Show that painters are more likely to develop asthma and freshly painted areas is associated with wheezing.
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replied August 9th, 2015
Extremely eHealthy
If you see a lung Dr. I would ask him for a letter
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