skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Fragranced consumer products: Chemicals emitted, ingredients unlisted

Abstract

Fragranced consumer products are pervasive in society. Relatively little is known about the composition of these products, due to lack of prior study, complexity of formulations, and limitations and protections on ingredient disclosure in the U.S. We investigated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from 25 common fragranced consumer products-laundry products, personal care products, cleaning supplies, and air fresheners-using headspace analysis with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Our analysis found 133 different VOCs emitted from the 25 products, with an average of 17 VOCs per product. Of these 133 VOCs, 24 are classified as toxic or hazardous under U.S. federal laws, and each product emitted at least one of these compounds. For 'green' products, emissions of these compounds were not significantly different from the other products. Of all VOCs identified across the products, only 1 was listed on any product label, and only 2 were listed on any material safety data sheet (MSDS). While virtually none of the chemicals identified were listed, this nonetheless accords with U.S. regulations, which do not require disclosure of all ingredients in a consumer product, or of any ingredients in a mixture called 'fragrance.' Because the analysis focused on compounds emitted and listed, rather than exposures andmore » effects, it makes no claims regarding possible risks from product use. Results of this study contribute to understanding emissions from common products, and their links with labeling and legislation.« less

Authors:
 [1]; ;  [2]; ; ;  [3];  [4]
  1. University of Washington, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Evans School of Public Affairs, Seattle, WA 98195-2700 (United States)
  2. Battelle Memorial Institute (United States)
  3. University of Washington (United States)
  4. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (ret.) (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21499677
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Environmental Impact Assessment Review
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 31; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: DOI: 10.1016/j.eiar.2010.08.002; PII: S0195-9255(10)00112-5; Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Journal ID: ISSN 0195-9255
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
07 ISOTOPES AND RADIATION SOURCES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CONSUMER PRODUCTS; GAS CHROMATOGRAPHY; MASS SPECTROSCOPY; ORGANIC COMPOUNDS; REGULATIONS; VOLATILE MATTER; CHROMATOGRAPHY; LAWS; MATTER; SEPARATION PROCESSES; SPECTROSCOPY

Citation Formats

Steinemann, Anne C., E-mail: acstein@u.washington.ed, MacGregor, Ian C., Gordon, Sydney M., Gallagher, Lisa G., Davis, Amy L., Ribeiro, Daniel S., and Wallace, Lance A. Fragranced consumer products: Chemicals emitted, ingredients unlisted. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2010.08.002.
Steinemann, Anne C., E-mail: acstein@u.washington.ed, MacGregor, Ian C., Gordon, Sydney M., Gallagher, Lisa G., Davis, Amy L., Ribeiro, Daniel S., & Wallace, Lance A. Fragranced consumer products: Chemicals emitted, ingredients unlisted. United States. doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2010.08.002.
Steinemann, Anne C., E-mail: acstein@u.washington.ed, MacGregor, Ian C., Gordon, Sydney M., Gallagher, Lisa G., Davis, Amy L., Ribeiro, Daniel S., and Wallace, Lance A. Fri . "Fragranced consumer products: Chemicals emitted, ingredients unlisted". United States. doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2010.08.002.
@article{osti_21499677,
title = {Fragranced consumer products: Chemicals emitted, ingredients unlisted},
author = {Steinemann, Anne C., E-mail: acstein@u.washington.ed and MacGregor, Ian C. and Gordon, Sydney M. and Gallagher, Lisa G. and Davis, Amy L. and Ribeiro, Daniel S. and Wallace, Lance A.},
abstractNote = {Fragranced consumer products are pervasive in society. Relatively little is known about the composition of these products, due to lack of prior study, complexity of formulations, and limitations and protections on ingredient disclosure in the U.S. We investigated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from 25 common fragranced consumer products-laundry products, personal care products, cleaning supplies, and air fresheners-using headspace analysis with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Our analysis found 133 different VOCs emitted from the 25 products, with an average of 17 VOCs per product. Of these 133 VOCs, 24 are classified as toxic or hazardous under U.S. federal laws, and each product emitted at least one of these compounds. For 'green' products, emissions of these compounds were not significantly different from the other products. Of all VOCs identified across the products, only 1 was listed on any product label, and only 2 were listed on any material safety data sheet (MSDS). While virtually none of the chemicals identified were listed, this nonetheless accords with U.S. regulations, which do not require disclosure of all ingredients in a consumer product, or of any ingredients in a mixture called 'fragrance.' Because the analysis focused on compounds emitted and listed, rather than exposures and effects, it makes no claims regarding possible risks from product use. Results of this study contribute to understanding emissions from common products, and their links with labeling and legislation.},
doi = {10.1016/j.eiar.2010.08.002},
journal = {Environmental Impact Assessment Review},
issn = {0195-9255},
number = 3,
volume = 31,
place = {United States},
year = {2011},
month = {4}
}