Is hairspray still bad for the environment?
(El Paso) KTSM — Is it weird that I have gone my whole life without using hairspray until I got into this business?
Well it's true. It's not until 7 months ago, that I was introduced to hairspray.
Ok I lied, obviously I was introduced to hairspray a long time ago, as it was my mother's best friend, but I had no need to use it until I actually had to do my hair.
Now, I can say I easily go through maybe two bottles of hairspray a month, and that is also in part thanks to my sister. So don't blame my bad hairspray habits solely on me.
In fact, the other day, this is exactly what I was thinking about. Am I really contributing to the earth's destruction?
Did you know: Aerosol spray cans were first invented in the 1920s by U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists to pressurize insect spray. It was later used by the American soldiers to help ward off Malaria in the South Pacific during World War II.
Use of the cans for consumer applications took off during the mid-1970s when ozone depletion first came to the public’s attention.
So if this is so bad, why are hairspray cans still being sold today, and adding to my newly found addiction?
Well, good news is the hairspray cans that are currently being sold aren't as harmful.
Consumer aerosol products made in the U.S. have not contained ozone-depleting chemicals, or as scientifically known: chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), since the late 1970s.
One of the main reasons was because companies voluntary eliminated this chemical, and later because of federal regulations.
Clean Air Act and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations further restricted the use of CFCs for non-consumer products.
This means all consumer and most other aerosol products made or sold in the U.S. now use propellants.
Examples include, hydrocarbons and compressed gases like nitrous oxide.
And of course this propellants do not deplete the ozone layer.
Aerosol spray cans produced in some other countries might still utilize CFCs, but of course they cannot legally be sold in the U.S.
Fun Fact: The 1987’s Montreal Protocol was an agreement signed by 191 countries with the goal of phasing out the production and use of CFCs and other ozone depleting chemicals.
Scientists report that getting rid of CFC's in most products is now about 90 percent complete.
This means I shouldn't feel too guilty every time I push that button to release what is now my savior to awesome looking hair. (If I do say so myself)
But I will leave you with this.
Modern-day, CFC-free aerosol sprays emit volatile organic compounds, other wise known as VOCs, that contribute to ground-level ozone levels. This is a key component to asthma-inducing smog.
In fact, the state of California is now regulating consumer products that contain VOCs and aerosol sprays are not the only targets.
You can find VOC's in fingernail polish, perfumes, mouthwashes, pump hair sprays, and roll-on and stick deodorants. (which is everything I use.)