Household Aerosols products emit more harmful volatile organic compounds which cause air pollution than all the vehicles in the UK. A new study was done by the University of York and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science unveiled that the picture is damaging globally with the world’s population now using huge numbers of disposable which have more than 25 billion cans per year.
This is estimated to lead to the release of more than 1.3 million tonnes of volatile organic compounds air pollution each year. This could rise to 2.2 million tonnes by 2050.The chemicals used in compressed Aerosols are predominantly volatile organic compounds chemicals which are also released from cars and fuels. The report says the Volatile Organic Compounds currently being used in aerosols are less damaging than the ozone-depleting CFCs they replaced in the 1980s. However, in the 80’s when key international policy decisions were made, no one foresaw such a large rise in global consumption.
Researchers found that in high-income countries 10 cans of Aerosols are used per person per year with the largest contributor being personal care products.The report authors are calling on international policymakers to reduce the use of Volatile Organic Compound in compressed, either by encouraging less damaging propellants like nitrogen or advocating the use of non-aerosol versions of products. At present VOCs are used in around 93% of Aerosols cans.
The authors conclude that the continued use of when non-Aerosols alternatives exist is often down to the continuation of past consumer habits. And that the role played by Aerosols volatile organic compounds emissions in air pollution needs to be much more clearly articulated in messaging on air pollution and its management to the public.