Volatile chemical emissions from essential oils with therapeutic claims

Nematollahi, Neda, Weinberg, Justine Lew, Flattery, Jennifer, Goodman, Nigel, Kolev, Spas D., and Steinemann, Anne (2021) Volatile chemical emissions from essential oils with therapeutic claims. Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health, 14. pp. 365-369.

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Abstract

Essential oils emit many volatile organic compounds (VOCs), with some considered potentially hazardous. However, little is known about specific emissions from essential oils that make therapeutic claims for health and well-being. This study investigated VOCs emitted from 14 commercially available essential oils with therapeutic claims, such as beneficial for coughs, colds, flus, relaxation, sleep, tension, headaches, stress, or skin irritation. The essential oils were selected from different brands and types, such as tea tree oil, lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, geranium oil, peppermint oil, bergamot oil, orange oil, and oil blends. Analyses were performed using headspace gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The analyses found 1034 VOCs emitted from the 14 essential oils, representing 378 VOC identities. The most prevalent VOCs (in more than 90% of the oils) were acetaldehyde, alpha-phellandrene, alpha-pinene, camphene, limonene, methanol, terpinolene, 3-carene, acetone, beta-phellandrene, ethanol, and gamma-terpinene. Among the 1034 VOCs emitted, 251 VOCs, representing 60 VOC identities, are classified as potentially hazardous. The most prevalent potentially hazardous VOCs were acetaldehyde, limonene, methanol, acetone, ethanol, and 3-carene. Toluene was found in more than 70% of the essential oils. Each of the essential oils emitted 9 or more potentially hazardous VOCs. Fewer than 1% of all VOCs identified and fewer than 1% of all potentially hazardous VOCs were listed on any essential oil label, safety data sheet, or website. Results from this study provide new findings on VOC emissions from essential oils with therapeutic claims, which can help to improve public awareness about potential exposures and risks.

Item ID: 64707
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-9326
Keywords: Essential oils, Therapeutic, Emissions, Volatile organic compounds, Hazardous compounds, Fragrance, Ingredients
Copyright Information: Published Version: (C) Springer Nature B.V. 2020. Acceptred Version: Open Access in an Institutional Repository after a 12 month embargo period.
Funders: National Environmental Science Program (NESP), CSIRO Land and Water
Projects and Grants: NESP Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2020 08:10
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410402 Environmental assessment and monitoring @ 80%
40 ENGINEERING > 4011 Environmental engineering > 401199 Environmental engineering not elsewhere classified @ 20%
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