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Reducing VOC emissions across the aerosol industry

Posted on Fri 24th January 2020

It’s hard to ignore latest research from the industry highlighting the significant rise of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions in the atmosphere and the wider implications this increase is having on the environment and health of consumers.

The issue is widely supported by the UK government’s clean air strategy, which sets out ambitious targets to cut emissions of air pollution by 2020 and 2030 by half. In particular, the strategy focuses on reducing exposure to toxic pollutants like nitrogen oxides, ammonia, particulate matter, non-methane volatile organic compounds and sulphur dioxide.

But what is the impact of VOCs on air pollution specifically and what can we do to help?

Put simply, the emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) contribute to the formation of the tropospheric ozone (ozone in the lower atmosphere) with large quantities of this ozone presenting risks to people, vegetation, forests and crops. It is exposure to air pollution and the rise of VOCs that pose environmental risks to human health and why the government has set the target of reducing NMVOCs against the 2005 baseline by 32% by 2020, increasing to 39% by 2030. Realising this target involves collaboration with a wide range of consumer groups, health organisations, industry and retailers to better inform consumers about the VOC content of everyday products.

VOCs from products used in the home have increased roughly in line with population growth in the last 20 years with aerosols being a significant contributor to this, but many consumers remain unaware of their daily exposure to such pollutants. Cleaning, fragrance and personal care products all being large contributors to VOC emissions.

It’s why at Salvalco, we have spent over 2 decades developing an innovative new valve system called Eco-Valve, designed to enable aerosols to be propelled by Nitrogen, Carbon Dioxide or Compressed Air, while having the same performance as an LPG propelled valve.  A small valve, helping to make big change, the removal of highly volatile and flammable propellants provide a dramatic and positive impact across the supply chain, benefitting the environment and improving air quality through the reduction in certain VOCs.

A comparison of the production of raw-materials and release of content into the atmosphere of an Eco-Valve aerosol show they are significantly lower than those of a typical body spray with LPG (source: screening LCA study):

What remains evident and at the heart of change across the aerosol industry is the commitment to ongoing collaboration, research and innovation. It is because of this that the industry continues to thrive and move forward, making the small steps today that will deliver big changes for the future.

To find out more about how Eco-Valve could benefit your business email: [email protected]

 

Blog references:
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Clean Air Strategy 2019

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