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Scented laundry products emit hazardous chemicals through dryer vents
Date:8/24/2011

d gases found more than 25 volatile organic compounds, including seven hazardous air pollutants, coming out of the vents. Of those, two chemicals acetaldehyde and benzene are classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as carcinogens, for which the agency has established no safe exposure level.

"These products can affect not only personal health, but also public and environmental health. The chemicals can go into the air, down the drain and into water bodies," Steinemann said.

The researchers estimate that in the Seattle area, where the study was conducted, acetaldehyde emissions from this brand of laundry detergent would be equivalent to 3 percent of the total acetaldehyde emissions coming from automobiles. Emissions from the top five brands, they estimate, would constitute about 6 percent of automobiles' acetaldehyde emissions.

"We focus a lot of attention on how to reduce emissions of pollutants from automobiles," Steinemann said. "And here's one source of pollutants that could be reduced."


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Contact: Hannah Hickey
hickeyh@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert

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