Does anyone else remember the days when teachers and parents told us not to huff chemicals? Now, it’s being fed to people’s lungs.
Whether or not you have noticed, the automatic “air fresheners” on campus are ruining our air. Get a clue: Central Michigan University isn’t “freshening” the air, they are ruining it.
I am reminded of the students who demonstrated at the Bovee University Center last month, wearing gas masks with signs depicting the toxicity levels of indoor air. It’s no wonder that we now have to worry about more toxic chemicals linked to a variety of disorders, cancers and diseases.
I think it is admirable that the Education and Human Services Building was made from amazing materials in an attempt to decrease children’s exposure to harsh chemicals; however, what sort of example are we setting when we forcibly expose college students to chemicals like ethylene-based glycol ethers, phthalates, dichlorobenzene and terpene (which reacts in the ozone and forms formaldehyde)?
If you check out howstuffworks.com, they state “The EPA’s air quality guide lists this chemical (dichlorobenzene) as toxic, since its vapors can affect respiratory function.” Many of the other chemicals commonly found in air fresheners are listed as harmful by the EPA and others. Last time I checked, we have a lot of students and staff with asthma and allergies who don’t need their air impregnated with toxins.
Howstuffworks.com further cites studies that appear to show “a correlation between air fresheners and asthma problems. A University of Washington study on chemical hypersensitivity polled people about their reactions to air fresheners. Around a third of the participants with asthma said air fresheners will aggravate their condition, and 40 percent reacted negatively to scented products in general.”
Although, there are regulations on air emissions.
I would argue that we are not meeting these standards set by the Clean Air Act, which is supposed to regulate what toxins are thrown into the air and keep us safe from chemicals, but we are instead breathing noxious air in places where we are supposed to feel safest.
So, why is it that CMU tries to seemingly push for a more environmentally friendly image, while it is actually harming students’ and staffs’ right to unpolluted air?
I am tired of my air being ruined by smokers who walk right up next to me and smoke, but I am further enraged with CMU causing possibly irreparable harm to my precious lungs. At least smokers keep it outside.