From the National Animal Poison Control Center (and Proctor & Gamble):
Date: March 26, 1999
To: Whom It May Concern
Subject: Febreze Fabric Refresher
Recently there have been comments and discussions posted on the
Internet suggesting that the use of Febreze Fabric Refresher in
households is dangerous to animals. We have issued the following
statement in order to help disseminate accurate information:
"Veterinary toxicologists at the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control
Center are conducting an on-going investigation into claims that use of
Febreze in the home caused the death of several pets. All information
reviewed to date suggests that there is no evidence that Febreze
represents any risk to pets when used according to label instructions.
Presently, the center considers the product safe to use in households
with pets. As with any cleaning product, the center recommends that
birds be removed from the room until the product application has dried
and the area has been ventilated. Please call 1-800-345-4735 if you
have any questions or have a pet that you suspect is experiencing
problems or visit us at http://www.napcc.aspca.org."
Please photocopy this letter or download our statement from our web
site and pass the correct information on to other friends of animals.
Steven R. Hansen, DVM, MS
Diplomate American Board of Veterinary Toxicology Senior Vice President
> Subject: Fwd: IMPORTANT -To all animal owners
> >>I can verify that this is true. We used Febreze a couple of times and in
> >>both cases, one of our dogs broke out with severe hives. Since the dog
> >>never had any problems like that before, we suspected the Febreze. Sure
> >>enough, after we stopped using it, no more hives. I guess we were lucky
> >>it wasn't worse.
> >>From the Veterinary Emergency Center in Needham, MA.:
> >>Febreeze, a new product that is used to get odors out of fabrics,
> >>has been causing deaths and illness in dogs, cats and birds. There
> >>have been multiple instances reported in the past few weeks of dogs,
> >>cats and birds dying after Febreeze was used anywhere near them. Some
> >>dogs have only gotten very ill,but some have died. Several birds have
> >>died as well. Febreeze contains zinc chloride, which is the culprit. If
> >>you have recently sprayed your dog's bed with this product, please wash
> >>it until you get all of the Febreeze out,or get your dog or cat new
> >>bedding. Please pass the word along to your friends so we can
> >>prevent further deaths.
> Bridgette L. Kirkpatrick, Ph.D.
> University of California, San Diego
> Department of Reproductive Medicine
> 9500 Gilman Drive-0674
> Cellular and Molecular Medicine-East 2071
> La Jolla, CA 92093-0674
> >This sounds like an urban legend. Notably, there's zero confirmable data
> in here.
> >It's all vague hand waving, mysterious plurals, unnamed sources...
> >"There have been multiple instances" - Who? Where? What news organization
> >reported it?
> >"Please pass this information on" "Please read and forward this warning"
> Etc. -
> >Guaranteeing wide distribution. If this story were real, you wouldn't have
> >forward it on because it would be on the 6:00 news.
> >"Many birds have already been killed" - Again, where's the numbers and
> >Where's the CNN, Reuters, NyTimes, heck even a stoooopid Drudge Report
> article on
> >Please don't forward this drivel to anyone unless you have a verifiable
> story from
> >a credible source!
> >> This was a message posted in the wellpet listservice. Jon-
> >> In a message dated 3/21/1999 5:33:46 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> >> IMPORTANT INFO FOR PET OWNERS- not a joke
> >> I would bet this applies to cats too.
> >> Febreze Is Dangerous to Pets!
> >> There have been multiple instances of dogs and birds who have died or
> >> very ill after being exposed to Febreze, a deodorizer/air freshener.
> >> contains zinc chloride, which is very dangerous for animals.
> >> Please do not use Febreze anywhere near your pets! If you have used it
> >> your pets or on their bedding, clean the bedding/area thoroughly to
> remove the
> >> Febreze, and move the animals away from the area.
> >> Please pass this information on to other pet owners/caretakers, before
> >> animals are injured or killed, and find a safer method
> >> of odor control.
> >> Febreze: This product is marketed as something that removes odors
> >> without covering them up. However, there is a strong smell to it,
> >> worse than that, Febreze contains zinc chloride. Many birds have
> already been
> >> killed after this product was used in any proximity to them
> >> whatsoever, and some dogs have also died. Other dogs have become ill
> >> dying.
> >> This product is marketed as safe around animals, and people have
> >> their dogs' bedding to remove the doggy smell, only to
> >> discover later on that their dog became deathly ill from it. There is
> >> who lost most of her hair after being accidentally sprayed with some
> >> though this particular incident also had a second factor involved (diet
> >> change).
> >> The Febreze bottle, as of December, 1998, has a picture on the back of
> a dog,
> >> which leads some people to believe it's safe to use in
> >> their bedding.
> >> > PLEASE READ AND FORWARD THIS WARNING TO PEOPLE WITH PETS!!!!!!!!
> >> > This is from a person at UVA- her dog died and this is what the vet
> had to
> >> >say. If you have a cat or bird, FEBREZE (odor spray) is TOXIC!!!!
> >> >has been confirmed by a vet. It will kill your animal. Another dog
> >> >unexpectedly and the vet strongly suspects this product as well.