I know that they may affect allergies, but how about overall health?
I have an oil (citrus cilantro) reed diffuser (I think that's what they are called :P) to freshen up the smell of my room. Is it healthy?
Are there alternatives to making a room smell good, other than boiling stuff and getting plants and flowers?
Should rooms have an odor?
Try some of these:
peel an orange and let the skin in the room for a the day
bake an apple. Alternative: peel an apple and place its skin in a frying pan, no oil though. (I did not try this personally but was told it works, great in the kitchen...
put some essential oil like teatree or some drops of your favourite perfume/ aftershave on top of a warm surface (I use the radiator or the stove, after it has been cooling down for a while, it will last for hours
there are some air refresheners that use bamboo sticks that have to be placed in a small jar with essential oil (you have to turn them upside down every 4-6 days and use only a few bamboo sticks during the first weeks)
make yourself a cup of coffee :)
for those who like X-mas, how about a X-mas tree? (Ups, sorry, this is a plant...)
(I assume the room is clean...)
I personally like candles and wax warmers (like Scentsy), but I don't really have any info on the healthfulness of those.
However, if you want to make a room smell good more naturally I would stick to pure essential oils. A reed diffuser should be fine so long as the oils are pure, natural essential oils.
Yes yes yes yes yes! Seriously, get rid, you can get gorgeous smelling candles from partylite that have no nasties. Baiscally you are sniffing up into your system a load of nasty chemicals that are potentially poisonous. You may notice on an airfreshner bottle they have a warning to only use in a well ventilated room, there is a reason for that.
Personally, I'd stick with reed diffusers and candles with labeled ingredients, no "fragrance" line item in the ingredients, and a "no phthalates" disclaimer. I have a reed diffuser from Out of Africa brand that seems pretty OK. I'm going to make my next one, though: essential oil in a neutral carrier oil (like almond oil) with bamboo skewers as the reeds.