SACRAMENTO – Today, the California Air Resources Board adopted amendments to several Consumer Products Program regulations that will help California attain federal ozone standards, and reduce public exposure to air toxics.
Consumer products — including personal care products such as hair spray and perfumes, household cleaners, air fresheners, and even household pesticides — emit smog-forming volatile organic compound emissions (VOCs). VOCs are a precursor to smog. Consumer products are the second largest source of VOC emissions, behind the collective VOC emissions from all off-road mobile sources.
“While the amount of VOCs in each product is small, Californians use millions of these products daily,” CARB Executive Office Richard Corey said. “As a result, emissions from these products found in every home and many businesses make up a significant portion of the state’s smog-forming pollution. We need to do all we can to reduce the amount of smog-forming ingredients in consumer products to meet our health-based clean-air standards.”
Since the Consumer Products Program began in 1988, CARB has limited the allowable VOC content of more than 100 categories of products, achieving 250 tons per day of VOC reductions. Today, the program not only reduces smog-forming compounds and particulates, but also provides significant reductions in both air toxics and climate-changing gases.
Additional emission reductions are needed, however, to help attain state and federal ozone standards, especially in the South Coast air basin. Emission reductions achieved from previous rulemakings are being eroded by increased product usage as California’s population and associated product use continue to grow. Consumer products are projected to become the state’s leading source of VOC emissions by 2040.
CARB has committed to get additional VOC reductions from consumer products as part of the State Implementation Plan, the legally required plan that outlines the actions California will take to meet federal clean-air standards. The amendments adopted today meet these commitments and lower VOC standards for seven product categories. Categories amended include:
Four hair-care product categories: Finishing Spray, Dry Shampoo, Hair Shine, and Temporary Hair Color. Hair finishing spray is the third largest source of VOCs in consumer products. Dry Shampoo, a fast-growing product category, has not yet been regulated by CARB.
Personal fragrance, including perfumes, aftershaves, lotions, powders, and body mists and sprays, is the second largest source of consumer product VOC emissions.
Manual aerosol air fresheners, a category of products labeled to mask odors or scent the air.
CARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. CARB is the lead agency for climate change programs and oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards.