First results are in! Researchers using a birth-cohort of 33,000 Chinese babies have released impressive findings already, just 6 years after the start of the cohort. Scientists found that exposure to incense burning, a practice common in southern China, increases hypertension risk in pregnant mothers. Nature
→Takeaway: Exposure to fumes and chemicals during pregnancy may be risky for both mothers and their progeny. A 2014 study also found that using air fresheners (specifically those containing phthalates – a chemical also found in flexible plastics) during pregnancy could result in lasting detrimental effects on offspring respiratory health. If you are looking to purify or freshen the air in your home, skip the incense and traditional air fresheners and consider these all-natural options, or this essential oil spray.