Simplified speciation and atmospheric volatile organic compound emission rates from non-aerosol personal care products

Amber M. Yeoman, Marvin Shaw, Nicola Carslaw, Tim Murrells, Neil Passant, Alastair C. Lewis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from personal care products (PCPs) can affect indoor air quality and outdoor air quality when ventilated. In this paper, we determine a set of simplified VOC species profiles and emission rates for a range of non-aerosol PCPs. These have been constructed from individual vapor analysis from 36 products available in the UK, using equilibrium headspace analysis with selected-ion flow-tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS). A simplified speciation profile is created based on the observations, comprising four alcohols, two cyclic volatile siloxanes, and monoterpenes (grouped as limonene). Estimates are made for individual unit-of-activity VOC emissions for dose-usage of shampoos, shower gel, conditioner, liquid foundation, and moisturizer. We use these values as inputs to the INdoor air Detailed Chemical Model (INDCM) and compare results against real-world case-study experimental data. Activity-based emissions are then scaled based on plausible usage patterns to estimate the potential scale of annual per-person emissions for each product type (eg, 2 g limonene person−1 yr−1 from shower gels). Annual emissions from non-aerosol PCPs for the UK are then calculated (decamethylcyclopentasiloxane 0.25 ktonne yr−1 and limonene 0.15 ktonne yr−1) and these compared with the UK National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory estimates for non-aerosol cosmetics and toiletries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-472
Number of pages14
JournalIndoor air
Issue number3
Early online date26 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 The Authors. Indoor Air published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • emission inventories
  • indoor air quality modeling
  • mass spectrometry
  • personal care products
  • siloxanes
  • VOCs

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