Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health

, Volume 12, Issue 11, pp 1259–1265 | Cite as

Volatile chemical emissions from 134 common consumer products

  • Neda NematollahiEmail author
  • Spas D. Kolev
  • Anne Steinemann


Emissions from everyday consumer products have been associated with adverse effects on air quality and health. This study investigates volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from 134 common consumer products, both fragranced and fragrance-free, including those with claims of green. Product types include personal care products, air fresheners, cleaning supplies, laundry products, and sunscreens. Using GC/MS headspace analysis, this study found 1538 VOC occurrences (individual ingredients), representing 338 VOC identities (different compounds), emitted from the 134 consumer products. Among the 1538 VOCs, 517 VOCs are classified as potentially hazardous. The most common VOC emitted from the 104 fragranced products was limonene, which was absent in fragrance-free versions. Comparing the green and regular fragranced products, no significant difference was found between the most prevalent potentially hazardous VOCs. Among all volatile ingredients emitted, fewer than 4% were listed on product labels. This study provides extensive findings on volatile emissions from consumer products, which can improve awareness of potential exposures and effects on air quality and health.


Consumer products Volatile organic compounds Fragrance Cleaning products Air fresheners Emissions Ingredients 



The study received support from the Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship (RTP), through the University of Melbourne; the Australian Department of Education and Training (Australian Postgraduate Award); and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Supplementary material

11869_2019_754_MOESM1_ESM.docx (79 kb)
ESM 1 Supplementary Table 1: VOC identities and prevalences among all products (n=134). Supplementary Table 2: VOC identities and prevalences among all fragranced products (n=104). Supplementary Table 3: VOC identities and prevalences among all regular and green personal care products (n=50). Supplementary Table 4: VOC identities and prevalences among all regular and green air fresheners (n=12). Supplementary Table 5: VOC identities and prevalences among all regular and green cleaning supplies (n=22). Supplementary Table 6: VOC identities and prevalences among all regular and green laundry products (n=20). Supplementary Table 7: VOC identities and prevalences among all regular and green sunscreens (n=15). Supplementary Table 8: VOC identities and prevalences among all regular and green fragrance-free products (n=15) (DOCX 79 kb)
11869_2019_754_MOESM2_ESM.doc (336 kb)
Supplementary Table 9 VOC occurrences among regular personal care products (DOC 336 kb)
11869_2019_754_MOESM3_ESM.doc (294 kb)
Supplementary Table 10 VOC occurrences among green personal care products (DOC 294 kb)
11869_2019_754_MOESM4_ESM.doc (135 kb)
Supplementary Table 11 VOC occurrences among regular air fresheners (DOC 135 kb)
11869_2019_754_MOESM5_ESM.doc (140 kb)
Supplementary Table 12 VOC occurrences among green air fresheners (DOC 139 kb)
11869_2019_754_MOESM6_ESM.doc (177 kb)
Supplementary Table 13 VOC occurrences among regular cleaning supplies (DOC 177 kb)
11869_2019_754_MOESM7_ESM.doc (157 kb)
Supplementary Table 14 VOC occurrences among green cleaning supplies (DOC 157 kb)
11869_2019_754_MOESM8_ESM.doc (189 kb)
Supplementary Table 15 VOC occurrences among regular laundry products (DOC 189 kb)
11869_2019_754_MOESM9_ESM.doc (175 kb)
Supplementary Table 16 VOC occurrences among green laundry products (DOC 175 kb)
11869_2019_754_MOESM10_ESM.doc (105 kb)
Supplementary Table 17 VOC occurrences among regular and green sunscreens (DOC 105 kb)
11869_2019_754_MOESM11_ESM.doc (87 kb)
Supplementary Table 18 VOC occurrences among regular and green fragrance-free products (DOC 87 kb)
11869_2019_754_MOESM12_ESM.docx (36 kb)
Supplementary Table 19 Potentially hazardous compounds among all 134 products (DOCX 35 kb)
11869_2019_754_MOESM13_ESM.docx (36 kb)
Supplementary Table 20 Potentially hazardous compounds among all 104 fragranced products (DOCX 35 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Infrastructure Engineering, Melbourne School of EngineeringThe University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.School of ChemistryThe University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.College of Science and EngineeringJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia

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