Don’t be fooled by other cleaning products that leave your home smelling like a public restroom “air freshener” most fragrances in other cleaning products incorporate chemicals called phthalates. They’re a class of synthetic chemicals, and they’re almost everywhere you look today. There are more than two dozen different types of phthalates commonly used by the chemical industry. One of their uses is in fragrances, where they stabilize synthetic perfumes. If the cleaning product you have in your hand says “fragrance” on the bottle, it pretty much means there are phthalates in there. Phthalates can be carcinogenic — which means they can cause cancer.