According to a study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), household products such as soaps, paints, and other cosmetic items pose surprising threats to our indoor air quality. These unlikely pesticides have led scientists to reconsider the alleged primary cause of smog in the Los Angeles area, which was vehicle emissions.
“Volatile chemical products used in common solvents and personal care products are literally designed to evaporate,” explained Jessica Gilman, co-author of the study published in Science. “You wear perfume or use scented products so that you or your neighbor can enjoy the aroma.”
So next time you spray air freshener in your house to mask an odor, consider how it could be detrimental to the quality of air you breathe. It’s even likely you will see automatic air fresheners in public restrooms across the world, so this certainly doesn’t help the issue.
“As transportation gets cleaner, those other sources become more and more important,” noted Brian McDonald, lead author and NOAA scientist. “The stuff we use in our everyday lives can impact air pollution.”