Concerns About Reed Diffuser Safety

Mar 19, 09:44 PM

by Katharine Koeppen, RA

Those ubiquitous reed diffusers can be found just about anywhere... at your neighborhood mall, Target, Walmart or grocery store. Composed of a glass container holding fragrance material and a handful of wicking reeds, they're cheap, easy to use and attractive. Although reed diffusers rarely contain essential oils, they provide many individuals with their first introduction to "aromatherapy."

The California Air Resource Board (CARB) recently tested 151 different brands of reed diffusers, and found that 130 contained unacceptable levels of VOC's (volatile organic compounds). Over half the 130 non-compliant diffusers contained VOC levels that were over 4 times the maximum allowable limit.

As with many things in life, you get what you pay for. My advice: throw away your reed diffuser and invest in a decent quality nebulizing or ultrasonic diffuser and a handful of essential oils. Use genuine oils and run the diffuser only when you need to; 15-20 minutes of diffusion is enough for most therapeutic or mood altering purposes.

Green, Mindy. Aromatherapy Business Climate: Changing with the Times. Alliance of International Aromatherapists Conference. 15 October 2009. AIA: Littleton, CO.

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