Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - December 14, 2018 


The Senate votes to withdraw funding for the Saudi war in Yemen. Also on the Friday rundown: the Global Climate Conference reinforces the need for grassroots movements; and could this be the most wasteful time of year?

Daily Newscasts

Study: Indoor Pollution Becoming Worse than Outdoor Pollution

A new study says automobiles are so much cleaner than 100 years ago, perfumes and household cleaning agents are taking over the top spot for urban air pollution. (indoorpollution.info)
A new study says automobiles are so much cleaner than 100 years ago, perfumes and household cleaning agents are taking over the top spot for urban air pollution. (indoorpollution.info)
February 20, 2018

DES MOINES, Iowa – A new study has come up with a surprising result: Because cars are now dramatically cleaner than they used to be, products like skin lotions and indoor cleaners are becoming the dominant source of key emissions.

University of Colorado lead author and scientist, Brian McDonald, says common household products such as printer ink or cleaning agents are now a major cause for concern because the transportation industry is much cleaner than it was 50 to 100 years ago.

"As emissions from tailpipe sources come down, then other sources from everyday use of chemical products - things like pesticides, paints, perfumes - are becoming a more and more important source of emissions of these volatile organic compounds," he explains.

The study was conducted by the University of Colorado's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and published in the journal Science.

McDonald's study measured volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which play a significant role in the formation of ozone and fine particulates in the atmosphere. He notes that tiny particles damage people's lungs.

"Fine particulate matter is one of the largest sources of human health impacts when you're thinking about air pollution," he says.

He says VOCs are commonly found in furniture, fumes generated by cooking, detergents, soaps, pesticides and other petroleum-based products.

In terms of meeting air-quality standards, McDonald says it's important to know that the products people use in their everyday lives are affecting air pollution.

"What we found was that the concentration of chemicals are roughly seven times higher than in the outdoor air," notes McDonald. "Just pointing out that when you're considering exposure to air pollution, it's not just what you breathe outdoors, but it's also what you breathe indoors as well."

He adds even though people use a lot more automobile fuel than household products containing petroleum, lotions, paints and other products nonetheless now contribute about as much to air pollution as does the transportation sector.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - IA