Aerosol sprays have developed an image problem and concerns about their adverse effects on health have mounted: they harm the environment and they contain CFCs, which destroy the ozone layer. Health advocates suggest avoiding aerosols at all costs. But are all these concerns true? Experts say that in the past, yes. Today, no.
For years, aerosol products contained chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, which were used as spray propellants. In the 1970s, CFCs were found to damage the ozone layer, and in 1978 the United States banned their use in commercial products; other countries (Canada, Norway, and Sweden) shortly followed suit. Records show that by 1996, CFCs were almost entirely phased out. They are currently used only in certain industrial machines (recycled in refrigerators and air conditioners) and medical products (inhalers).
Experts warn, however, that even the new generation of aerosols presents potential health hazards. Many of them contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a group of propellants and solvents that are highly … Read the rest