News: Indoor air pollution source of urban air pollution
A new study of the air around Los Angeles found consumer and industrial products to rival vehicle emissions as a source of harmful atmospheric pollutants
Thursday, 3rd May 2018
The findings published in February in the journal Science, revealed that many common products — including pesticides, paints, printing inks, adhesives, cleaning agents and personal care items such as deodorant and hairspray — were full of volatile organic compounds that could be released into the air, reported the Los Angeles times. A shift in the balance of 'polluting power in cities' may prompt researchers and regulators to step up their focus on a wide range of goods.
Indoor pollutants are found in a wide range of products - e.g. VOCs in fragrances, solvents and spot cleaners, degreasers and disinfectants, and formaldehyde, often used in the production of resins acting as glues for wood products, pulp and paper, some plastics and coatings, paints and varnishes, and in textile finishings. Breathing in low levels of these pollutants for long periods of time may increase some people's risk of health problems. The EU Ecolabel product criteria (where relevant) limits VOCs and completely excludes formaldehyde.
In addition, other criteria restrict any ingredient that is classified as having the potential to cause an allergy, asthma, or breathing difficulties if inhaled.
Health problems resulting from exposure to air pollution have a high cost to people who suffer from illness, to our health services and to businesses.