Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Even green products emit hazardous chemicals

November 2, 2010
CHICAGO — Widely-used scented consumer products that claim to be "green," "organic" or "natural" emit just as many toxic chemicals as other fragranced products, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The study analyzed 25 scented products, about half of which carried green health claims, and all emitted at least one chemical classified as toxic or hazardous, the article stated.
More than a third of the samples gave off one chemical classified as a probable carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to the research, which was published in the journal Environmental Impact Assessment Review.
"Products with ''organic fragrance,'' ''natural fragrance,'' and ''essential oils'' emitted just as many toxic chemicals," said Anne Steinemann, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Washington.
"Basically, if it had any kind of fragrance or scent, it emitted toxic chemicals," Steinemann added.
According to the article, the most common emissions the researchers found included limonene, a compound with a citrus scent; apha-pinene and beta-pinene, compounds with a pine scent; ethanol and acetone, a solvent found in nail polish remover.
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