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Sustainability News

Chemicals in Everyday Products Rival Cars as Source of Air Pollution

Releases from chemical products, including ones we use every day in our homes, are as much a cause of air pollution as automobile emissions, according to a new study that has big implications for how airborne pollutants are regulated.

Household cleaners, personal care products, perfumes, and other consumer and industrial products emit chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. Researchers led by scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that as cars have gotten cleaner, tailpipe emissions have gone down. As a result, the researchers estimate that emissions from consumer and industrial products now contribute half of the VOCs that cause air pollution.

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