Would you believe that a fresh linen-scented candle could be deadly to someone with allergies or asthma?

The medical world is buzzing over a new study that found that scented candles and air fresheners can trigger potentially deadly allergy or asthma attacks. And a lot of people have no idea of the dangers because the products seem harmless. After all, an ocean breeze air freshener doesn't sound deadly.

Dr. Stanley Fineman is the president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, and he says the home fragrance market is growing rapidly. So, manufacturers are racing to beat the competition by selling the strongest and longest-lasting products. They're loading up candles and air fresheners with tons of toxic Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs, including formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, and crude oil and acetone, which are used in nail polish remover and paint thinner. In fact, one recent study found that a single plug-in deodorizer contains over 20 VOCs.

Experts say that for most people, breathing in the fumes isn't a big deal, but it could be a life or death situation for allergy and asthma sufferers because the chemicals trigger their sensitive bodies to go into attack mode.

So, how can you make your house or car smell good without flooding the air with toxic products? Allergy specialists suggest letting Mother Nature do the work. Leave your windows open, or do what a lot of real estate agents do to make houses seem more inviting and bake chocolate chip cookies or bread, or put a pot of water with cinnamon sticks, cloves and cider on the stove.