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France: Towards a ban on the most polluting home fragrances

The Action Plan on indoor air quality (Plan d’actions sur la qualité de l’air intérieur), which was released last week by the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy and the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, aims at prohibiting the most polluting home fragrance and deodorant products (candles, incense and other products to mask odours). Incenses that emit more than 2 micrograms of benzene per m3 could therefore be banned from the market.

Compulsory labelling requirements should also be proposed later in 2014 for home fragrance products as well as for household cleansers. This labelling should disclose the level of volatile pollutant emissions from these products. “This will be done in line with current decisions and experiments conducted at French and European levels," says the French Ministry of Ecology.

These measures are intended to reduce sources of indoor air pollution.

There are huge health and economic issues related to indoor air quality. In France, the cost of poor indoor air quality is estimated between 10 and 40 billion euros per year, including 1 billion euros for the reimbursement of anti-asthma drugs. Asthma affects 3.5 million people," states the Ministry.

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