Stories

Household products are a significant source of city air pollution

LA skyline enveloped in smog shortly before sunset on November 17, 2006.
The Los Angeles skyline enveloped in smog shortly before sunset on Nov. 17, 2006. Photo: David McNew / Getty Images

Common household products like cosmetics, paints, deodorants and cleaners may be a significant source of unhealthy pollutants in U.S. cities. According to a new study published today in the journal Science, chemicals released from these products create as much pollution in the form of ozone and particulate matter as burning fossil fuels.

The bottom line: Overall, air quality in the U.S. has improved due to strict regulations on emissions from cars. And, at the same time, the amount and proportion of other pollutants from consumer products has increased. Addressing that remaining source could further improve human health, according to some experts.