Making the Move to Innovative Odor Control

From restaurant restrooms to office break rooms to school locker rooms, there are many areas within facilities that can result in unpleasant malodors. Facility managers often turn to air care products to keep their facilities smelling fresh. But as air fresheners became more common in businesses and homes alike, concerns emerged about the efficiency and consistency of some products, as well as their safety. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that spray air fresheners are a common source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are known to have adverse effects on both human health and the environment.

There are many air care products on the market – and yet, at the same time, leading manufacturers are phasing out certain air care products.  To make the most informed decision and prevent odors from impacting building occupants, facility managers should understand what to look for when purchasing air care solutions.

Keeping the Care in Air Care

Research shows that more than 20% of Americans report negative health effects from air fresheners, including migraine headaches, asthma attacks and respiratory difficulties. These issues make it imperative for decision-makers to carefully consider which air care products to purchase.

When considering switching to a new indoor odor control system, facility managers should ask the following questions:

  • • Is this product eliminating odors or merely masking them?
  • Aerosol products are notorious for simply covering up malodors temporarily. In addition, masking air fresheners can combine their smells with odors already in the room and create an even more unpleasant odor than before. Thankfully, there are products on the market today with effective neutralizing agents that seek and destroy foul odors, giving the room a bright and fresh-smelling atmosphere. Consider a product with innovative technology designed to neutralize undesirable scents rather than hiding them. Consider choosing an air care program with fragrance-free options, as a study found more than half of Americans said they would support a fragrance-free workplace air care system.


  • • Can I rely on this product to consistently keep indoor air smelling fresh?
  • Many air fresheners and other fragrance-dispensing systems use cartridges designed to last up to 30 days. Whether in a restroom or office break room, these will need replacing every month. Even if they do last for a month, these systems often dispense fragrance inconsistently or inefficiently. However, there are now innovative solutions that run on fuel cell technology, ensuring precise, continuous odor control. Users have the ability to control the intensity of the fragrance by selecting either 30, 60 or 90 days. Less frequent replacement saves both time and money. In addition, aerosols have a “spray-and-fade” effect, meaning the fragrance wears off and must be re-applied consistently. Choose products that continuously eliminate malodors by dispensing fragrance at a constant rate.


  • • What are this product’s effects on the environment and human health?

As consumers increasingly seek environmentally friendly products, businesses should adapt by utilizing sustainable and safe options wherever they can, including in their air care programs. Look for products with the following attributes:

  1. 1. Free of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), propellants, allergens and alcohols. Many aerosols contain VOCs or solvents, which can harm both human health and the environment. Look for products with none of those added.
  2. 2. Eco-friendly. Aerosols can contain compounds like CFCs that can accelerate global warming. Select a more environmentally friendly option.
  3. 3. Recyclable. Find products that won’t be added to landfills, which contribute to air pollution.
  4. 4. No health risks. Aerosols often come into direct contact with consumers as they linger in the air. Find the right options on the market that avoid this.

The Future of Indoor Air Care

As businesses begin to understand the risks and rewards of different odor control systems, they should keep in mind the growing public concern for the environment and potential health hazards. In response for increased demand for transparency, California passed a law – which will take effect in 2020 – requiring manufacturers of air fresheners to disclose known allergens and ingredients that appear on the state’s Department of Toxic Substances list of harmful chemicals.

Whether their air care system is being discontinued or simply in the market for a solution to manage odors, businesses should consider switching to innovative air care solutions that meet certain requirements. These include products that eliminate odors rather than masking them, last longer and dispense fragrance more consistently than traditional options, and account for environmental and public health concerns by excluding potentially harmful ingredients. With those foundations in place, businesses can keep even the rooms most susceptible to malodors smelling fresh and clean around the clock.