Release 92-08

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               CONTACT:        Jerry Martin
June 29, 1992                                                                                                    (916) 322-2990

ARB Approves Low Polluting Household Air Freshener

SACRAMENTO - The Air Resources Board (ARB) has approved the first household product, a room air freshener, that uses innovative technology to meet emission standards for smog-forming hydrocarbons.

        Manufactured by S. J. Johnson, of Racine, Wisconsin, the product takes advantage of a provision in the ARB's rules that credits the use of innovative technology as an alternative to changes in the chemical makeup of the product to meet emission limits. Rather than reduce the air freshener's solvent content, S. J. Johnson uses an electrical plug to release a highly concentrated fragrance that emits less smog-forming solvent over the product's lifespan.

        "We wanted cleaner air, but we wanted flexibility as well," said Jim Boyd, ARB executive officer. "We gave manufacturers the opportunity to find an alternative way to produce the same pollution reductions and S. C. Johnson took advantage of our rules to do that."

        The "innovative technology" provision in the ARB rule is intended to give manufacturers more flexibility in determining how to meet emission standards, rather than dictating a single approach. Many other manufacturers of consumer products are expected to follow S. J. Johnson's lead by qualifying under that provision.

        The ARB has adopted three measures that limit hydrocarbon emissions from 27 different groups of household and consumer products, ranging from auto degreasers and windshield cleaners to hair spray, deodorants and perfumes by 1993, with even stricter standards to take effect in 1996. Those rules are expected to reduce emissions by 57 tons per day, (28 percent), compared to the 200 tons per day emitted from all products of this type.

        Currently for sale at prices comparable to those of higher-polluting room deodorizers, the Johnson air freshener is a two part product for which the customer makes a one-time purchase of a plug-in holder and separate purchases of replacement fragrance cartridges as needed.

        The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

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