GLRPPR Sector Resource: Fragranced Consumer Products and Undisclosed Ingredients
Fragranced Consumer Products and Undisclosed Ingredients
Fragranced consumer products--such as air fresheners, laundry supplies, personal care products, and
cleaners--are widely used in homes, businesses, institutions, and public places. While prevalent, these
products can contain chemicals that are not disclosed to the public through product labels or material safety
data sheets (MSDSs). What are some of these chemicals and what limits their disclosure? This article
investigates these questions, and brings new pieces of evidence to the science, health, and policy puzzle.
Results from a regulatory analysis, coupled with a chemical analysis of six best-selling products (three air fresheners and three laundry supplies), provide several findings. First, no law in the U.S. requires disclosure of all chemical ingredients in consumer products or in fragrances. Second, in these six products, nearly 100 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were identified, but none of the VOCs were listed on any product label, and one was listed on one MSDS. Third, of these identified VOCs, ten are regulated as toxic or hazardous under federal laws, with three (acetaldehyde, chloromethane, and 1,4-dioxane) classified as Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs). Results point to a need for improved understanding of product constituents and mechanisms between exposures and effects.
Environmental Impact Assessment Review
Date of Publication:
Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR)
One East Hazelwood Drive Champaign, IL 61820
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