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Ontario Poison Centre

Air Fresheners

Air Fresheners


Air fresheners are used to eliminate odors and come in a variety of forms: sprays, candles, oils, and plug-ins.

Plug-ins are a common unintentional exposure for babies and toddlers, as these are often right at their level.

Poisoning Risk

Low in taste amounts.

Expected Symptoms

  • Possible skin, mouth or throat irritation.
  • Possible upset stomach (discomfort, nausea, isolated episode of vomiting or diarrhea).

Home Treatment

  • Wash hands with soap and water, and wipe mouth with a damp cloth.
  • Provide something to drink for dilution.
  • For eye exposures, rinse eyes for at least 15 minutes with lukewarm water.
  • Call the Poison Centre for further advice.

*Note: concentrated essential oils can be harmful when swallowed, and can be very dangerous if they get into the airway. If the person exposed has difficulty breathing, call 911.


  • Avoid using plug-ins when there are babies or toddlers in the home.
  • Every case is different. OPC is available 24hrs/day to provide information for your individual situation. Call 1-800-268-9017 (Toll-free) or 416-813-5900 (Local).



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