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Impact of room fragrance products on indoor air quality

: Uhde, E.; Schulz, N.


Atmospheric environment 106 (2015), pp.492-502
ISSN: 0004-6981
ISSN: 1352-2310
Journal Article
Fraunhofer WKI ()
fragrance product; room spray; candle; emission; solvent

Everyday life can no longer be imagined without fragrances and scented products. For the consumer, countless products exists which are solely or partly intended to give off a certain scent in sufficient concentrations to odorize a complete room. Sprays, diffusers and evaporators, scented candles and automatic devices for the distribution of fragrance liquids are typical examples of such products. If the consumer uses such products, his consent to the release of certain chemicals in his home can be implied, however, he may not know what kind of fragrance substances and solvents will be present in which concentrations. In this study, we determined the volatile emissions of a number of fragrance products in detail. Measurements were carried out under controlled conditions in test chambers. The products were tested in a passive (unused) and an active state, wherever applicable. Following a defined test protocol, the release of volatile organic compounds, ultrafine particles and NOx was monitored for each product. The potential for forming secondary organic aerosols under the influence of ozone was studied, and for a selection of products the long-term emission behavior was assessed. A remarkable variety of fragrance substances was found and more than 100 relevant compounds were identified and quantified. While it is the intended function of such products to release fragrance substances, also considerable amounts of non-odorous solvents and by-products were found to be released from several air fresheners. Emissions rates exceeding 2 mg/(unit*h) were measured for the five most common solvents.