Household 'green' products pose health hazards

The so-called household "green" products, including air fresheners, cleaning products, laundry supplies and personal care products, contain lot of health hazards, finds a new study.

The study team found 156 different volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from 37 products examined, with an average of 15 VOCs per product.

"Given the lack of information, consumers may choose products with claims such as green, natural, or organic, but those claims are largely untested," said Anne Steinemann, professor of civil engineering at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

The emissions of carcinogenic hazardous air pollutants from 'green' fragranced products were not significantly different from regular fragranced products.

Over 550 volatile ingredients were emitted from these products, but fewer than three percent were disclosed on any product label or material safety data sheet (MSDS).

The most common chemicals in fragranced products were terpenes, which were not in fragrance-free versions.

Terpenes readily react with ozone in the air to generate a range of additional pollutants, such as formaldehyde and ultrafine particles.

The study was published in the journal Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health.