News Brief

Air Fresheners and Ozone Can Produce Formaldehyde

Chemical reactions between air-fresheners and smog can generate formaldehyde (a probable human carcinogen) and other compounds blamed for respiratory problems, according to a recent study performed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and published in the April 2004 issue of

Environmental Science and Technology. The study examined reactions between ozone, which results from vehicle exhaust, and fragrance molecules, including pinene and limonene, which are released by air fresheners that plug into electrical outlets. “If you open a window on a high-ozone day, you could trigger these reactions,” says Mark Mason, who led the study. (Of course, using ozone generators in the presence of these air fresheners would have the same effect. For more on the hazards of ozone generators see


Vol. 12, No. 10.)

Published June 1, 2004

(2004, June 1). Air Fresheners and Ozone Can Produce Formaldehyde. Retrieved from

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