Lemon-scented products spawn pollutants | Science News

Be a Champion for Science

Get your subscription to

Science News when you join.


Lemon-scented products spawn pollutants

1:51pm, October 27, 2004

While prepping for holiday guests, many hosts will deploy cleaners and air fresheners that impart a pleasant lemon or pine scent. Though they can mask stale smells, their fragrant ingredients—under certain conditions—may also be a rich source of indoor pollution, a study finds.

Several years ago, Charles J. Weschler, a chemist at Telcordia Technologies in Red Bank, N.J., stumbled onto the polluting alter ego of an aromatic citrus compound. While experimenting with the terpene called limonene, Weschler noticed a white message board in the lab turning dingy. Investigation revealed it was building up a thin coat of submicron particles that were forming in reactions between limonene gas and ozone.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News