According to the Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS), at least 298.7 million Americans use deodorants or perfumes. In 2024, this population will rise to 306.04 million.
But what happens to the perfume when we spray it? Does it stay on our body forever? No. Then where does it go? What is its final destination? So, let us know about the indoor air pollution from perfumes.
What is a Perfume or “Fragranced Consumer Product”?
A “Perfume” is a fragrance that is made up of dozens of substances, such as volatile organic compounds. There are about 4000 elements that one can use in the creation of a scent.
A “fragranced consumer product” is one that “has an additional aroma or is mostly made up of fragrance.” Air fresheners, deodorizers, laundry detergents, candles, and colognes are a few examples of fragrance products.
How are they harmful to the environment?
The researchers analyzed specific energy and chemical production data to determine how much VOC is produced from oil and natural gas? And how much do the perfumes and other scented products produce? The data implies that scented products account for approximately twice as much as vehicle fuel. This means that relatively, indoor pollution has become a greater risk to handle and is contributing a lot to air pollution.
Because these products evaporate quickly, their VOCs end up in the air. In many situations, this is precisely what they want to achieve. We will not be able to smell the fragrances floating past from perfumes, scented candles, or air fresheners if VOCs didn’t evaporate.
- Direct emissions from air fresheners combined with elements (such as ozone) already in the air can contribute to VOCs. For example, air freshener emissions can mix with naturally present indoor air molecules like ozone to create pollutants.
- Furthermore, fragranced items have been linked to pollution in the environment. Indoor surroundings and fragranced product emissions, on the other hand, are largely controlled.
In addition, ingredients of such products are not needed to be disclosed completely and on labels or anywhere else. As a result, one of the most significant sources of air pollutants is generally uncontrolled, and the constituents are mostly unknown.
Adverse Effects on Human Health
Our regular exposure to air fresheners is a reason for concern because they include substances linked to a variety of health concerns. Researchers have tested and discovered compounds found in air fresheners that have been associated with cancer. Not to mention that a huge section of the population suffers from different problems as a result of exposure to scented products. The following is a list of health problems linked to fragrances and air fresheners.
Some chemical components have been classified as potential or known human carcinogens by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer. Formaldehyde, another cancer-causing substance, is also present in some scents.
Headaches and Migraines
If you get recurrent migraine episodes or headaches with no explanation, it’s possible that scented goods are to blame. Some of the most common migraine and headache triggers are air fresheners, fabric softeners, and perfumes or colognes.
Asthma and allergies
Many people are allergic to perfumes. People with multiple chemical sensitivities, on the other hand, respond to nearly every scent. Coughing, sneezing, swollen eyes, and respiratory system irritation may be caused by these substances. These symptoms indicate that your body is attempting to reject these dangerous chemicals.
What are some alternatives to using perfumes or air fresheners?
According to the World Health Organization, air pollution affects over 90% of the world’s population. This places a great deal of responsibility on the customer to choose the best option for themselves and the environment.
The demand for products that produce the fewest VOCs is urgent. Its impact can be controlled by employing indoor and outdoor plants. We won’t be able to eliminate these goods entirely, but we can certainly strive to lessen their influence by leading a healthy lifestyle. These are some of the ways using which you can avoid perfumes or air fresheners:
- Removing the source of the odor
- Increasing ventilation by opening a window or using an exhaust fan
- Improving and increasing ventilation by maintaining HVAC systems
- Regular cleaning and vacuuming
- Using an air purifier when other methods are insufficient
We can clearly see how perfumes and other scent-producing products are harming the environment. We should all learn and educate about the factors that are leading to high levels of pollution in our area and try to eradicate them. So spread the information that there is indoor air pollution from perfumes and air fresheners.