Evaluating air quality with and without air fresheners

Nigel Goodman, Neda Nematollahi, Giovanni Agosti, Anne Steinemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Air fresheners emit a range of volatile organic compounds, which can include hazardous air pollutants. Exposure to air fresheners has been associated with health problems such as migraine headaches, respiratory difficulties, and asthma attacks. To reduce pollutant exposures and potential adverse effects, air fresheners can be discontinued from use within indoor environments. However, little is known about how much air quality can be improved and over what time. This study evaluates the effects of air fresheners on air quality with a focus on d-limonene, a prevalent and dominant compound in air fresheners and one that can generate hazardous air pollutants. Using workplace environments, the study analyses and compares d-limonene concentrations in restrooms that use air fresheners, that discontinue the use of air fresheners, and that do not use air fresheners. In restrooms that use air fresheners, d-limonene concentrations averaged 6.78 μg/m3 compared with 0.84 μg/m3 in restrooms that do not use air fresheners. Further, after discontinuing the use of air fresheners, d-limonene concentrations decreased up to 96% within 2 weeks with an average reduction of 81% and an average concentration down to 1.17 μg/m3. These findings suggest that a straightforward strategy, such as ceasing the use of air fresheners, can produce measurable benefits for indoor air quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalAir Quality, Atmosphere and Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


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