Fragranced consumer products: exposures and effects from emissions

TitleFragranced consumer products: exposures and effects from emissions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsSteinemann A.
JournalAir Quality Atmosphere and Health
Volume9
Pagination861-866
Date Published2016/12
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1873-9318
Accession NumberWOS:000387334000002
Keywordsasthma; Consumer product; Fragrance; Indoor air quality; perfume; population; prevalence; sensitivity; symptoms
Abstract

Fragranced consumer products, such as cleaning supplies, air fresheners, and personal care products, are a primary source of indoor air pollutants and personal exposure. Previous research indicates that fragranced products can trigger adverse health effects, with implications for workplaces and public places. This is the first study to examine the multiple dimensions of exposures related to fragranced products and effects in the US population. The study investigated the prevalence and types of fragranced product exposures, associated health effects, awareness of product emissions, and preferences for fragrance-free policies and environments. Data were collected using an online survey with a nationally representative population (n = 1136) of adults in the USA. Overall, 34.7 % of the population reported health problems, such as migraine headaches and respiratory difficulties, when exposed to fragranced products. Further, 15.1 % have lost workdays or a job due to fragranced product exposure in the workplace. Also, 20.2 % would enter a business but then leave as quickly as possible if they smell air fresheners or some fragranced product. Over 50 % of the population would prefer that workplaces, health care facilities and professionals, hotels, and airplanes were fragrance-free. While prior research found that common fragranced products, even those called green and organic, emitted hazardous air pollutants, more than two thirds of the population were not aware of this, and over 60 % would not continue to use a fragranced product if they knew it emitted such pollutants. Results from this study provide strong evidence that fragranced products can trigger adverse health effects in the general population. The study also indicates that reducing exposure to fragranced products, such as through fragrance-free policies, can provide cost-effective and relatively simple ways to reduce risks and improve air quality and health.

DOI10.1007/s11869-016-0442-z
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