EPA Clarifies Analysis on Interaction Between Ozone and Air Fresheners

Indoor Air Quality

EPA Clarifies Analysis on Interaction Between Ozone and Air Fresheners

On May 15, EPA researchers with the National Risk Management Research Laboratory (NRMRL) published the research study “Full-Scale Chamber Investigation and Simulation of Air Freshener Emissions in the Presence of Ozone” in Environmental Science and Technology journal.  The purpose of this study was the collection of data related to the interaction of ozone with common household air fresheners. 

Recent media reports have inaccurately presented the purpose and conclusions of this journal submission as a study related to the effects of commonly used household air fresheners on human health.

This study was not designed to investigate potential human Health effects, nor should the data resulting from this study be used to do so.  EPA has drawn no conclusions, through this study or otherwise, on any dangers to consumers through the use of these products.

EPA commonly tests household products to understand better Factors contributing to indoor air quality.  As outside air pollution also affects the composition of indoor air, some studies also investigate the interactions between these same products and ozone.  The chamber study on air fresheners was one of these studies.  The goal of the study was to determine the possible production of emissions from these products and investigate how substances emitted may interact with indoor air and ozone to impact overall indoor air quality.

The test conditions used to acquire the data in this study were Designed to explore the interaction between several household products under various air quality conditions.  As a result, the tests did not simulate normal consumer use of air freshener products.  In fact, the tests were conducted in the presence of an ozone-generating air cleaner generating ozone levels 65 parts-per-billion, levels that are not typical for indoor environments.  EPA provides guidance on the use of ozone-generating air cleaners as they may contribute to ozone n the home and does not recommend such devices for consumers to remove indoor air contaminants from the households.  More information on the use of ozone generators in the home is available at:  http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/ozonegen.html