室内空气

做清洁产品 & 空气清新剂释放有害化学物质?



像许多人一样, when you smell a cleaning product you may wonder just what that smell is and how it affects your body. 以下是这一切的简要说明.

所有的味道, 愉快的或者, exist because of substances which have evaporated into the air and then interact with the magnificent odour detector that is your nose.

挥发性有机化合物——什么是气味

The first term you need to know about is “volatile organic compounds”. 这个短语包含了你能闻到的所有东西, 从橘子和松树到热柏油路和烤面包.

挥发性

Whatever the source of the smell, the molecules that evaporate off them are described as ‘volatile’. You can only smell that smell if that tree or tarmac releases the ‘volatile’ substances into the air so your nose can sense them.

有机化合物

大多数挥发性分子都有一种气味, 而且大多数都是“有机的”, 这就意味着它们是以碳原子为基础的分子.

化合物是两种或两种以上化学元素的组合, 有机化合物是由碳和其他物质组成的.

Thus we get ‘volatile organic compounds’, which are known by the inevitable abbreviation of VOCs.

不是所有的东西都是难闻的VOC

As always there are some exceptions to this general description. 有些VOCs是无味的, and some smells don’t come from carbon molecules but from inorganic molecules like hydrogen sulphide. 后者包括臭鸡蛋的味道.

大多数熟悉的气味都是化合物的组合

Plants and trees release a fantastic array of molecules into the air – that’s why a walk in the woods or the garden can be such a pleasurable experience. 许多其他喜欢的香味和闻起来像烤咖啡, 烤面包, fine wine and good whisky arise not from a handful of molecules but from subtle combinations of hundreds of them.

One of the most widely used scents in cleaning products is that of lemons, 这是通过一种叫柠檬烯的VOC来实现的. 它是从柑橘果皮中提取的. Limonene can react with ozone to create tiny amounts of a different compound, called formaldehyde. 了解这个过程的更多信息, check out our guide to formaldehyde and how it affects the air in your home.

VOCs是从哪里来的呢?

家中VOCs的来源包括家具等物品, 地毯, 塑料地板和油毡, 油漆和清漆, 粘合剂, 溶剂, 化妆品和化妆品, 以及清洁产品和空气清新剂

清洁产品中的气味

Most of the volatile substances that evaporate into the air when you use cleaning products and air fresheners are simply the perfumes.

Perfumes are combinations of mainly the exact same molecules that you smell in the garden, 或树林里. 许多来自直接从植物中提取的精油, while some are ‘nature-identical’ molecules that can be manufactured more efficiently and sustainably. 也有一些“新”分子, although these are often variants on naturally-occurring structures but with better characteristics.

清洁产品也会释放少量的溶剂.

关键在于正确的剂量

就像任何其他, volatile substances can be harmful given a high enough dose — whether they come from natural or “man-made” sources.

If you look at the individual substances that are released into the air when you bring flowers into the house or squeeze an orange, you’ll find some of those substances are both irritant and toxic.

What matters is the amounts of each substance that is breathed in; is it present at a levels that might cause harm?

当然, having flowers in the home and peeling oranges is perfectly safe because the levels of VOCs released into the air that produce the scent are very low. The human nose is remarkable in its ability to detect extremely low quantities of substances.

大范围的安全保护你

To ensure products don’t cause harm by releasing more than safe amounts of volatile substances into the air, cleaning product and perfume manufacturers assess the toxicity or irritant properties of the ingredients.

They calculate what levels might be in the air when using the product, and make sure there are wide margins of safety between the possible dose and one that could cause harm.

Because of growing awareness of the potential for substances in indoor air to cause harm, 政府科学家已经审查了这些证据, 我们一直在审查这个问题.

例如, scientists found good reason to be concerned about carbon monoxide, 以及燃气设备产生的氮氧化物, 烟草烟雾, 汽油烟雾中的苯, 还有来自刨花板的甲醛. 因此,已经为其中一些设定了限制.

在家中评估VOCs

说到我们家里的VOCs, the investigation concluded that “there is no evidence that current UK domestic exposures to VOCs, 无论是单独的化学物质还是整体的, 对健康构成威胁".

A recent large EU research project has also reviewed the levels of substances found in indoor air. None of the substances for which they felt levels needed reducing come from use in cleaning products or air fresheners.

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