(Photography: Thinkstock)Your air freshener's scent of flowers or fresh linens may be pleasing to the senses, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for your health. In fact, the artificial fragrances that many of us associate with fresh indoor air can be rooted in chemicals that are very harmful to the body. The National Resources Defense Council tested 14 air fresheners and found that 12 contained phthalates, which are hormone disruptors that can impact reproduction and child development, while many more contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can affect the respiratory system, and the known carcinogen formaldehyde. The Environmental Working Group warns that even reading the label of an air freshener may not tell the whole story, because the word “fragrance” can hide any number of chemicals and there is no requirement for manufacturers to disclose those ingredients. If you’re concerned about the air you breathe in your home, try one of these healthier ways to freshen your air: 1. Get a HEPA filter to capture pollen, pollutants and smells, improving the overall air quality of your home. 2. Rather than introducing the artificial smell of a garden, bring live plants indoors! Choose from one of these air-purifying plants. 3. Use home remedies like baking soda in the fridge or lavender pouches in cupboards to help keep scents fresh. 4. Buy an all-natural mist, such as the Graydon Germs Away Mist. This fresh-smelling cleaning spay uses little more than water, hydrogen peroxide and grapefruit seed extract to clean air, hands or germy surfaces (such as your sweaty yoga mat!). The ingredients are gentle on your skin and lungs but strong enough to kill germs.