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Air Fresheners

Volume 456: debated on Friday 2 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent research her Department has conducted into the impact upon (a) indoor air quality and (b) human health of the use of air fresheners. (111520)

In 1997, the Department together with the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) commissioned a joint research programme on the effects on health of exposure to air pollutants and damp in the home. This programme focused on indoor air pollution and its effects on health. In particular, the health effects on sensitive individuals within the population and the interactions between indoor air pollutants and health effects of damp in the domestic environment. There were 13 projects in total, seven of which were funded directly by the Department. Further details of these projects can be found at table three of ‘Air Pollution Research Funded’ which is available on the Department's website at:

www.dh.gov.uk/assetRoot/04/07/06/08/04070608.pdf.

Copies have been placed in the Library.

Air freshening products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and in 1997, the Department's Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) was asked to consider the health effects of exposure to VOCs in the home. As part of this, COMEAP considered data collected by the Buildings Research Establishment (BRE) on behalf of the DETR and had published a statement in their 1997-98 annual report which is available at:

www.advisorybodies.doh.gov.uk/comeap/pdfs/comeap9798.pdf.

Copies have been placed in the Library.