These days, many air fresheners are advertised as phthalate-free. Phthalates are used to carry fragrance farther when the air freshener is sprayed. Phthalates have been linked to cancer and developmental and sex-hormone abnormalities. Even if a spray scent is phthalate-free, it is still manufactured with artificial fragrances, which can lead to higher levels of indoor air pollution. The solution to keep a phthalate-free, fresh home? Place charcoal in a large bowl and let it absorb odors. No smell is the best smell.