Author Topic: Essential oil via diffuser safe for babies?  (Read 9470 times)

jeromedawg

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Essential oil via diffuser safe for babies?
« on: September 17, 2015, 09:34:21 PM »
Hey guys,

Anyone know if it's OK to use essential oil and reed diffusers around babies? Obviously not sticking it too close to them or rubbing the oil on them or near their nose but just to have a reed diffuser setup in a room where the baby might be... anyone know if this is OK? We have some eucalyptus essential oil out with reed diffusers in one room and peppermint in another (long story but some mosquitoes got into the house and we're doing our best to squash/kill them)

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Essential oil via diffuser safe for babies?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2015, 06:34:44 AM »
Aerosols are not good for children's lungs. West Nile is obviously worse, but I would be more inclined to move the baby from the mosquito room than to decrease the air quality in the room.

catccc

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Re: Essential oil via diffuser safe for babies?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2015, 06:41:42 AM »
Are they 100% pure essential oils in a natural carrier oil?  I think as long as they aren't synthetic fragrances, which are a like a personal care/cosmetic/scented things FDA loophole, you are okay having it in the room.  But that's just my opinion, I don't really know.

I don't know how many "some" is, but just stalk them and clap your hands around them (or over them if they are on a wall).  And make sure you don't let anymore in.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Essential oil via diffuser safe for babies?
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2015, 07:12:51 AM »
Are they 100% pure essential oils in a natural carrier oil?  I think as long as they aren't synthetic fragrances, which are a like a personal care/cosmetic/scented things FDA loophole, you are okay having it in the room.  But that's just my opinion, I don't really know.

I don't know how many "some" is, but just stalk them and clap your hands around them (or over them if they are on a wall).  And make sure you don't let anymore in.

Is there a scientific reason you can provide that natural essential oils are better to breathe than synthetic fragrances?

catccc

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Re: Essential oil via diffuser safe for babies?
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2015, 08:23:49 AM »
Is there a scientific reason you can provide that natural essential oils are better to breathe than synthetic fragrances?

I think as long as they aren't synthetic fragrances, which are a like a personal care/cosmetic/scented things FDA loophole, you are okay having it in the room.  But that's just my opinion, I don't really know.
Just to be clear, I qualified my comment as my thoughts and opinions on the matter, because I had never researched it (until now)  So my post was just based on my personal experience.  I once had some of those bath and body works brand scented oils & a little tealight burner.  It took a while for me to realize the connection, but I'd get terrible headaches using the stuff.  So I stopped using them.  We make some of our own cosmetic kind of things with natural essential oils, and I don't have any problems using them. 

But a quick google search returns a widely referenced report from the National Academy of Sciences from 1986:

95% of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum. They include benzene derivatives, aldehydes, and many other known toxics and sensitizers - capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions. "Neurotoxins: At Home and the Workplace" (Report by the Committee on Science and Technology. U.S. House of Representatives, Sept, 16, 1986) [Report 99-827]

So that's one side, that the synthetics are bad, but I guess it doesn't say anything about natural essential oils. Which I know some aren't all totally safe (I think tea tree oil has estrogen mimicking effects).  But they probably are not worse than synthetics based on this report.
I didn't further research the scientific validity of the report, I just assume it has some scientific basis since it is from the national academy of sciences.  I'm not up for more googling right now because i have to get to work here, but if anyone else finds any relevant studies, please post links, I'd be interested to read them at a later time...
« Last Edit: September 18, 2015, 08:29:57 AM by catccc »

Hamster

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Re: Essential oil via diffuser safe for babies?
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2015, 08:33:29 AM »
Is there a scientific reason you can provide that natural essential oils are better to breathe than synthetic fragrances?

I think as long as they aren't synthetic fragrances, which are a like a personal care/cosmetic/scented things FDA loophole, you are okay having it in the room.  But that's just my opinion, I don't really know.
Just to be clear, I qualified my comment as my thoughts and opinions on the matter, because I had never researched it (until now)  So my post was just based on my personal experience.  I once had some of those bath and body works brand scented oils & a little tealight burner.  It took a while for me to realize the connection, but I'd get terrible headaches using the stuff.  So I stopped using them.  We make some of our own cosmetic kind of things with natural essential oils, and I don't have any problems using them. 

But a quick google search returns a widely referenced report from the National Academy of Sciences from 1986:

95% of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum. They include benzene derivatives, aldehydes, and many other known toxics and sensitizers - capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions. "Neurotoxins: At Home and the Workplace" (Report by the Committee on Science and Technology. U.S. House of Representatives, Sept, 16, 1986) [Report 99-827]

I didn't further research the scientific validity of the report, I just assume it has some scientific basis since it is from the national academy of sciences.  I'm not up for more googling right now because i have to get to work here, but if anyone else finds any relevant studies, please post links, I'd be interested to read them at a later time...
I think the point is that just because something is 100% natural doesn't make it safe, nor make it desirable to breathe it in. There are a lot of 100% natural things that are toxic - curare, botulinum toxin, opium.
I would avoid extra inhaled stuff, whether synthetic or natural.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Essential oil via diffuser safe for babies?
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2015, 08:45:27 AM »
Is there a scientific reason you can provide that natural essential oils are better to breathe than synthetic fragrances?

I think as long as they aren't synthetic fragrances, which are a like a personal care/cosmetic/scented things FDA loophole, you are okay having it in the room.  But that's just my opinion, I don't really know.
Just to be clear, I qualified my comment as my thoughts and opinions on the matter, because I had never researched it (until now)  So my post was just based on my personal experience.  I once had some of those bath and body works brand scented oils & a little tealight burner.  It took a while for me to realize the connection, but I'd get terrible headaches using the stuff.  So I stopped using them.  We make some of our own cosmetic kind of things with natural essential oils, and I don't have any problems using them. 

But a quick google search returns a widely referenced report from the National Academy of Sciences from 1986:

95% of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum. They include benzene derivatives, aldehydes, and many other known toxics and sensitizers - capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions. "Neurotoxins: At Home and the Workplace" (Report by the Committee on Science and Technology. U.S. House of Representatives, Sept, 16, 1986) [Report 99-827]

So that's one side, that the synthetics are bad, but I guess it doesn't say anything about natural essential oils. Which I know some aren't all totally safe (I think tea tree oil has estrogen mimicking effects).  But they probably are not worse than synthetics based on this report.
I didn't further research the scientific validity of the report, I just assume it has some scientific basis since it is from the national academy of sciences.  I'm not up for more googling right now because i have to get to work here, but if anyone else finds any relevant studies, please post links, I'd be interested to read them at a later time...

I'm not saying synthetic fragrances are good, but natural fragrances are largely aldehydes as well and some can be synthesized from benzene. I get concerned when people seem to equate natural with safer.

This is an interesting list of aroma compounds - many occur naturally. Certainly there are some that are probably proprietary that don't and might be more concerning (or they might not be).

Aerosols aren't good for lungs no matter what is in them. Personally I try to avoid adding fragrances of any source to my house.

I'm glad you got rid of the things that were giving you headaches.

catccc

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Re: Essential oil via diffuser safe for babies?
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2015, 08:51:25 AM »

I think the point is that just because something is 100% natural doesn't make it safe, nor make it desirable to breathe it in. There are a lot of 100% natural things that are toxic - curare, botulinum toxin, opium.
I would avoid extra inhaled stuff, whether synthetic or natural.

I knew someone was going to say something like this.  Obviously there are plenty of naturally occurring chemicals that can be harmful.  I actually added a bit to the post noting a similar sentiment, unfortunately I didn't resubmit the post in advance of you quoting it.

Aerosols aren't good for lungs no matter what is in them. Personally I try to avoid adding fragrances of any source to my house.

I don't know how aerosols got into this conversation, I don't think anyone was talking about using them.  The OP is using a reed diffuser, essentially asking if it is okay to have the baby in the same room as an open container of the essential oils.

« Last Edit: September 18, 2015, 08:53:22 AM by catccc »

catccc

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Re: Essential oil via diffuser safe for babies?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2015, 08:57:11 AM »
This is helpful, but looks like it mainly pertains to topical use:
http://www.thehippyhomemaker.com/essential-oil-safety-babies-children/

IDK how old your baby is, but that can factor in here, apparently.

Catomi

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Re: Essential oil via diffuser safe for babies?
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2015, 08:57:47 AM »
I think peppemint oil can be bad for a baby's lungs (trying to track down a link). I'd avoid using essential oils around a baby (especially a newborn) wherever possible. I'm also not sure what, if anything, they'd do to a mosquito.

And it sounds like you're probably already OK on this, but please don't ingest essential oils.

Cromacster

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Re: Essential oil via diffuser safe for babies?
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2015, 09:01:30 AM »
I don't know how aerosols got into this conversation, I don't think anyone was talking about using them.  The OP is using a reed diffuser, essentially asking if it is okay to have the baby in the same room as an open container of the essential oils.

Oil difussers are essentially turning particles in the oil mixture into an aerosol...

aerosol: a colloidal suspension of particles dispersed in air or gas.

catccc

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Re: Essential oil via diffuser safe for babies?
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2015, 09:09:28 AM »
I don't know how aerosols got into this conversation, I don't think anyone was talking about using them.  The OP is using a reed diffuser, essentially asking if it is okay to have the baby in the same room as an open container of the essential oils.

Oil difussers are essentially turning particles in the oil mixture into an aerosol...

aerosol: a colloidal suspension of particles dispersed in air or gas.

ah, I get it.  I was picturing cans of air "freshener..."
like "a substance enclosed under pressure and able to be released as a fine spray, typically by means of a propellant gas."

catccc

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Re: Essential oil via diffuser safe for babies?
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2015, 09:11:05 AM »
I think peppemint oil can be bad for a baby's lungs (trying to track down a link). I'd avoid using essential oils around a baby (especially a newborn) wherever possible. I'm also not sure what, if anything, they'd do to a mosquito.

And it sounds like you're probably already OK on this, but please don't ingest essential oils.

Here's a good resource re: peppermint. 
https://www.naha.org/naha-blog/peppermint-safety-info
dude, I really gotta get away from this thread, I've spent far too much time on it...
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pbkmaine

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Re: Essential oil via diffuser safe for babies?
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2015, 09:17:38 AM »
Wouldn't an inexpensive mosquito net around the crib protect against mosquitos? Then you wouldn't have any worries about essential oils. I have a friend who uses essential oils around her house for "health" reasons, and both my husband and I have trouble breathing in there.

catccc

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Re: Essential oil via diffuser safe for babies?
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2015, 09:24:42 AM »
Wouldn't an inexpensive mosquito net around the crib protect against mosquitos? Then you wouldn't have any worries about essential oils. I have a friend who uses essential oils around her house for "health" reasons, and both my husband and I have trouble breathing in there.

damnit, I'm back.  I thought of this, but depending on how old the baby is and the risk that the net would fall on/around the baby, it might not be a good idea.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Essential oil via diffuser safe for babies?
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2015, 09:27:28 AM »
Basically I'm confused how you have a big enough mosquito problem inside your house for this to come up. And I am from Houston, so I have plenty of mosquito experience.

Maybe we are overthinking this and you like all new parents thought "Oh no! An X! Will it hurt my baby?" The most I've ever hated a mosquito is when I saw it land on my daughter.

jeromedawg

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Re: Essential oil via diffuser safe for babies?
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2015, 11:44:13 AM »
Basically I'm confused how you have a big enough mosquito problem inside your house for this to come up. And I am from Houston, so I have plenty of mosquito experience.

Maybe we are overthinking this and you like all new parents thought "Oh no! An X! Will it hurt my baby?" The most I've ever hated a mosquito is when I saw it land on my daughter.

One or two got in and were biting my poor wife alive... of course, she was still concerned about the baby but he seemed to be ok and unbitten (haha the sacrifice of a mother). My parents were in town and love leaving the doors open (assuming there's a screen door of course), and our screen door happens to have gaps around the edges so not the best thing to protect against insects coming in. Additionally, it was crazy humid the day they started biting my wife (it had just poured rain the night before and was sprinkling throughout the day, and it felt like Houston outside...and I've been to Houston). Anyway, we decided to put some essential oil out to try to ward off the mosquitoes at least from my wife, but since she's nursing all day, were naturally concerned about how the baby would be affected (via inhaling too much of the stuff and getting irritated, etc)

BTW: we're not using the fancy electronic diffusers,etc. The scent is getting up into the air via those wooden reed stick diffusers.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2015, 11:51:07 AM by jplee3 »

Sibley

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Re: Essential oil via diffuser safe for babies?
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2015, 12:12:28 PM »
As someone with allergies, asthma and sensitives up the wazoo.... any scents can be a problem, regardless of their origin or purpose.

So, that would be perfumes, flowers, essential oils, cleaning supplies (those natural ones? yeah, I'm pulling out the inhaler on those too. And they don't even clean as well), bleach, ammonia. I've reacted to certain very strong smelling foods even. Never mind pollution, smoke, etc.

Personally, I wouldn't deliberately put anything like that near a baby or young child. Better safe than sorry.

For mosquitoes - a vacuum or fly swatter will go a long way. Or just your hand.

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Re: Essential oil via diffuser safe for babies?
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2015, 09:34:41 PM »
I think because one or maybe both those oils have menthol (the compound in Vicks that is unsafe for babies), you would at least need to make sure the rooms are well ventilated, maybe open windows. And better if it's not in rooms baby is in a lot, or next to baby's spot in the room.

But when I give baby advice, remember that my babies are imaginary, perfect. And I am a perfect imaginary parent. I hear non-imaginary parenting is more nuanced and less perfect.