Inhalation of VOCs from facial moisturizers and the influence of dose proximity

Amber M. Yeoman*, Aidan C. Heeley-Hill, Marvin Shaw, Stephen J. Andrews, Alastair C. Lewis

*Corresponding author for this work

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Volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from personal care products (PCPs) contribute to poor indoor air quality. Exposure to indoor VOCs is typically determined through ambient concentration measurements; however, for some PCPs the proximity of use to the nose and mouth may lead to disproportionately large inhaled doses. In this paper, we quantify emission factors for six common PCP ingredient VOCs (ethanol, 2-propanol, benzyl alcohol, 1,3-butanediol, t-butyl alcohol, and the grouping of monoterpenes as limonene) from 16 facial day-moisturizers using headspace analysis and selected ion flow-tube mass spectrometry. A wide range of emissions rates were observed across the range of products tested (e.g., ethanol 3.3–6.9 × 102 µg s−1 g[product]−1, limonene 1.3 × 10−1–4.1 × 10−1 µg s−1 g[product]−1). We use a mannequin head with reconstructed nose and mouth airways to sample VOCs from facial application at typical respiration volumes. A single facial application of moisturizer can lead to a much larger inhaled VOC dose than would be inhaled from typical indoor ambient air over 24 h (e.g., limonene up to ~×16 greater via facial application, ethanol up to ~×300). Emissions from facially applied PCPs typically decayed to background concentrations over periods ranging from 5 to 150 min.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12948
Number of pages12
JournalIndoor air
Issue number1
Early online date24 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

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