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Household cleaning products can expose us to pollution particles at the same rate as a car exhaust

Amman Today

publish date 2022-03-01 09:55:25

The use of cleaning products has increased dramatically in the past few years, in light of the spread of the “Covid-19” epidemic, but this may actually carry health risks.

By recording real-time observations in “real-world indoor conditions” that simulate the work of professional indoor cleaners, researchers in the United States found that commercial indoor surface disinfectants may deposit small contaminated particles in the human respiratory tract at equal or higher aerosol rates. Aerial vehicles.

The new findings may have repercussions for those who worked heavily with disinfectant sprays during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study, published in Science Advances, was led by Colin Rosales, an ecologist at the University of California, Davis.

“One of the disturbances that humans have introduced to the indoor environment is the use of household cleaning and disinfection products, some of which contain natural scents, such as citrus or pine,” Rosales and colleagues write in the paper.

Exposures in the workplace and in residence that lead to adverse health effects are likely to be affected by increased chemical disinfection of indoor surfaces during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scientists know that cleaning indoor surfaces with disinfectants can generate secondary indoor pollutants such as gases and aerosols. But there have been few studies tracking secondary organic aerosol formation under realistic indoor conditions.

A secondary organic aerosol (SOA) is a molecule produced by oxidation over several generations of an organic parent molecule.

“Secondary organic aerosols represent a significant portion of the global aerosol burden,” said Professor Anil Virtanen, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Eastern Finland, who was not involved in the study.

Therefore understanding the mechanism of formation and properties of SOA is important for estimating its effects on climate, air quality and human health.

To learn more about the formation of secondary organic aerosols indoors, the US team focused on monoterpene, a class of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Monoterpene is emitted from a very wide range of sources including cooking, food, plants and many types of scented products.

In an indoor environment, monoterpene can mix with ozone to form particles that may be buried in the lungs.

The team used a commercial monoterpene-based household cleaner to wipe surfaces inside a mechanically ventilated, enclosed test room inside a forested research building for 12 to 14 minutes.

While cleaning the floor, the researchers measured the gas phase of the precursor, oxidizers, radicals, oxidation byproducts, and aerosols in real time.

They calculated that a person using a monoterpene-based cleaning product would first inhale about 30 to 40 micrograms of VOCs per minute when they started scanning.

When a secondary organic aerosol is formed, the product reacts with the air in the room, and a person then inhales about 0.1 to 0.7 micrograms of these particles per minute.

The authors suggest that keeping indoor background ozone levels below one part per billion before scanning can reduce the buildup of pollutant particles.

The volatile organic compounds that are currently used in aerosols are less harmful than the ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that replaced them in the 1980s.

It is noteworthy that CFCs are compounds belonging to the group of synthetic organic compounds that contain carbon, chlorine, and fluorine, which damage the Earth’s protective ozone layer and protect us from harmful ultraviolet rays generated by the sun.

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Source : اخبار الاردن

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