Could your shampoo be the new car exhaust respro® bulletin board gas 37 weeks pregnant


Regulators and scientists have known this for years, but recent studies led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration find that gases emitted from these fragrant products could be a greater source of air pollution than previously thought.

One study found that these volatile organic compounds (VOCs), often derived from petrochemicals, now rival cars as a source of air pollution in urban areas. When VOCs mix with nitrogen oxide and sunlight, they create ozone and particulate matter, which can trigger health and respiratory problems, especially for children and the elderly.

“We now see that emissions from personal care products are one of the largest sources of emissions—things like shampoos, deodorants, lotions,” Brian McDonald, lead author of the NOAA study, told Bloomberg Environment. “Followed by coatings like paint, adhesives, printer inks and cleaning products. We’re really just now starting to understand what’s actually in our air, and the variety of sources that contribute to urban air quality.”

Fuel-related exhaust from cars has long been considered the main source of these kinds of air pollutants. But thanks to advances in catalytic converters and improvements in fuel economy, the proportions of human-created VOCs in some urban areas may have changed significantly, McDonald said.

The study, published in the journal Science, found that household products in Los Angeles produced the same amount VOCs as cars in the famously polluted city. That means government regulators are likely underestimating emissions from these products by 60 to 70 percent, while overestimating car emissions by 40 percent, the study found.

“In the past, these chemicals were difficult to measure. They’re made to evaporate quickly, and often contain oxygen, which made it difficult for the instrumentation to pick up,” McDonald said. “But the technology has gotten much better over the last 10 years, and we now have a much better idea of what is in the atmosphere.”

But in cases where the connection is clear, companies have responded quickly to consumer concerns—as was the case with chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in hairspray, or by swapping out petrochemicals for latex in paint, McDonald said. Consumer Product Groups: VOCs Decreasing

“One thing not fully addressed in these recent studies is that VOCs in consumer products have been regulated and reduced alongside automobile sources, if not more so,” said Steve Bennett, vice president of scientific affairs for the Household and Commercial Products Association.

Since then, the EPA also passed national limits on VOC’s in 1998 as part of its mandate under the Clean Air Act. The limits apply to products including air freshener, glass cleaners, insecticides, and many others. States are also free to set their own VOC regulations, as long as they don’t fall below the limits set by the EPA.

The agency recently completed a survey of more than 400 categories of consumer products sold in California between 2013 and 2015. CARB plans to release the 2013 and 2014 results in the next few weeks. The 2015 survey results are expected this fall. Eco-Friendly at a Cost

Leonard told Bloomberg Environment that many of the natural oils and extracts that go into fragrances are more expensive than synthetic ingredients. And even the synthetic chemicals approved by CleanGredients or Safer Choice aren’t equally available in the marketplace.

“If a chemical gets listed on CleanGredients, Dow or BASF, they’re going to pass those certification costs on to us,” he said. “But someone like Procter & Gamble is going to pay less per pound, because they’re buying chemicals by the barge, when all I can afford is one drum.”

The European Union has deemed D5 as hazardous under its REACH chemical regulation. After a multi-year review, Canada concluded that “D5 is not entering the environment in a quantity or under conditions that constitute a danger to the environment.”

D5 is not regulated in the U.S. D4 Siloxane, however, also used extensively in cosmetics and silicone polymers, is subject to an Enforceable Consent Agreement in which manufacturers are subject to testing to determine whether the chemical is showing up in the environment.