Volatile chemical emissions from 134 common consumer products
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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.
KeywordsConsumer 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).
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