Return to the FAQ Main Page

Febreeze - Good or Bad ?

possible lung problems ???

Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 07:35:24 -0500 Subject: FEL-L: [Fwd: BG: please read]

A while back I recommended Frebreeze for removing odors. I just received the following on a different list and feel obligated to forward it to everyone here. Everyone should know about this!! Fascats Cattery

Forwarded Message (about birds, but cats also have small lungs!)

First thing Thursday am, I called the vet. Lucky looked a lot better from last night, but now Beep-Beep and Speedee didn't look so hot. They went in and my vet didn't give me much hope. He said that they were all in respiratory distress, that is why they were in labored breathing, which I figured. He said that he would have to keep them there under Heat lamps and start with injections so it would be faster acting to help save them. I told him about the Febreze and he told me to call the number on the back of it and tell them what happened. I kissed all my babies Goodbye as if it were the last time I would see them. I got home and called Febreze (Proctor and Gamble) and asked the woman if it was safe for use around pets. She said yes. I lost it, broke down and started crying as I told her what had happened to that point. It sounded if she was VERY NERVOUS and asked for the name and phone number of my vet. I was so upset, that I never gave MY name and number! I called the vet and told them to expect a call from the company.

Around 2 PM, the vet called to say that Speedee had slipped into a coma and was not breathing on his own and that they were keeping him alive. I told them not to perform any heroic attempts to save him and to let him pass peacefully and pain free. They said that he could live in a coma for an unspecified amount of time, or that I could have him euthanized. I chose to euthanize him to prevent him any further pain. It was a hard thing to say, but it was the only fair thing to do for him. He was euthanized minutes after speaking to the vet.

Again, I called Febreze to tell them that I lost another bird, and this time made sure to give them all the information about myself. They said that the information had been passed to the safety division and they would call the vet. They also told me to scrub the loveseat cushions where it had been sprayed and not to return the bird to that room. Seems odd for a company that thought their product was safe! About an hour later, Febreze called to say that they had spoken to my vet and they would let him know what was in the product so he could treat them. The gentleman had no further information on that matter.

Close to 4:45 PM, I received another call from the vet. I had been told they would call around then to let me know when to pick up the birds to bring them home, if that was at all possible. Instead, it was the vet to say that they lost Beep-Beep . He mentioned that a chemist from Proctor and Gamble had called and spoke to him and told him that Febreze is mostly water, but one of the ingredients (which aren't completely listed on the bottle) is zinc chloride. The chemist had called a vet (not sure if it is one that works for P&G or just an outside vet) and the vet had agreed that the zinc chloride could kill birds and make them react and die the way mine were. They also told him that the product had never been tested with birds. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. He did tell me that Lucky was doing pretty well and was about to get another injection and to call in one hour to see when I could take her home.

I called Febreze again and asked to speak to the gentleman I had been talking with about this matter. I informed him there was another death. Again, he was very sympathetic and offered his condolences and told me to keep them informed. When I called the vet at 6pm, they said Lucky could go home. I went to get her and in front of a full waiting room, I just cried. Everyone at my veterinarian's office is always so nice, but I just was beyond consolation. They had wrapped up Speedee and BeepBeep for me, gave me the meds (Baytril) to give Lucky and an appointment for her on Monday, AM.(today)! The vet told me that Lucky had sung a few times and that was a great sign, which I agreed. I felt so horrible in front of all those customers and patients crying uncontrollably. I wanted to tell all of them what had happened, but I couldn't.

I took Lucky home and she is now sitting beside me in a small cage so she doesn't get worn out running around in a large cage. She has chirped a few times and the other day she climbed the bars to watch me wrap some presents. That really made me feel good because wrapping gifts is something I really don't feel in the mood for now!

Although Febreze has my name and phone number, they have not attempted to call me. I find this greatly insulting. If anyone knows the people who lost birds due to the Glade problem, or other problems and have had correspondence with the companies over their losses, I would really like to hear from them to know what measures they had to take.

Please keep Lucky in your prayers. I am worried that the damage that her lungs received will never fully heal and that I will have to keep on top of every little sneeze...worrying that she may come down with a respiratory infection that may kill her.

Please pass this on, as I know many of you have, so that my Three Angels didn't die in vain, but may help to inform people of the dangers of products and so that more testing is done on the safeness of products that come out on the market. I want potentially dangerous substances to birds to be marked as such. Thank you! Lori Email:

Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 09:22:05 -0800 Subject: Re: FEL-L: Frebreeze

I raised exoctic finches for a couple years before I got the Bengals. You couldn't use squat in the house as far as cleaning products or anything that had chemicals in it.

As for my cats and two legged kids, If I find the odor strong or I beleive that it may be harmful in any way--the cats and kids stay in another room til all is dry and "aired out".

most substances either loose their volitility or toxicity when dry. There are of course exceptions to this. some insulations, plastics or hard wood floor finishes outgas formaldehyde, which is harmful for all for all living creatures.

I also tend to stay with "known" products. I have tried this frebreeze and it works wonderfully. Once again I do not allow the cats/kids acess to the furniture until it is dry we have had no problems or issues with the cats, dogs, and kids..

Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 08:32:58 -0800 Subject: Re: FEL-L: [Fwd: BG: please read]

Don't go overboard just yet. Do some research. The pets that Febreeze (may have) killed were birds. Birds are well know ot be VERY sensitive to fumes of various sorts - why do you think they were used in mines to check air quality? When the bird keeled over, the people knew it was time to leave - even though they couldn't smell the problem yet. It may not have a noticeable affect on mammals.

Date: Sat, 26 Dec 1998 01:00:59, -0500 Subject: FEL-L: dangerous fumes

Just another note about birds and their sensitivity. Those non-stick frying pans.... if you leave them on the burner and forget and the pan gets very hot, the coating will burn and the fumes from that can also kills birds. Not sure about other critters.

Date: Fri, 25 Dec 1998 23:39:01 -0700 Subject: FEL-L: Product Safety

I'm sorry to hear of your loss. I'm glad Lucky survived the ordeal. Thank you for sharing your story with us, because we all need to be reminded that many products are not safe around 'any' of our pets. Even products manufactured 'for' pets are not always safe for them. Remember the big story a few years ago on 20/20 or 60 minutes about "Blockade" (flea spray from Hartz). It was killing dogs and cats left and right, and many of those that survived ended up with permanent neurological problems. The company took the attitude of: 'Deny, Deny, Deny!', even though the evidence was quite convincing.

We all need to be very careful about the chemicals we expose our animals to and be forewarned that the claims the companies make are not in our best interests, but in theirs.

Date: Mon, 28 Dec 1998 00:14:13 -0500 Subject: Re: FEL-L: dangerous fumes

> frying pans.... if you leave them on the burner and forget and the pan

The substance used to coat those pans is some form of teflon, which is technically called polytetrafluroethlyne. This is incredibly inert and stable stuff. But-- if it does break down, the organic flouride products released are hazardous to any living thing, and highly corrosive besides. We occasionally have teflon insulators burn up in some of our high power broadcast stuff... not fun to clean up!

Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 00:20:53 EST Subject: Re: FEL-L: Not a joke/ Febreeze dangerous

I sprayed Febreeze in my bedroom one night on the carpet and my husband woke up having a problem breathing and had to leave the room !!!! Has anyone else had this problem ?? I sprayed it on the carpet where the dog had peed, I wonder if that had anything to do with it ??? Lauri

Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 00:40:54 -0800 Subject: Re: FEL-L: Not a joke/ Febreeze dangerous

I do know that Febreeze will kill birds. I sprayed it on a recliner chair. Two day later my Love Birds were playing on it. An hour later they were dead. Not a good product to have around animals.