Thursday, October 28, 2010

Consumer Aerosol Products Receive Unwarranted Blame for Global Warming

A recent Yale University study shows that many Americans falsely believe that aerosol spray products contribute to climate change. The study has received a great deal of media response because it shows that more than half of Americans flunk “Climate 101.” One of the questions on the quiz given to over 2000 participants showed that over two thirds of those surveyed falsely believe that aerosol spray products are a significant contributor to global warming, with some concluding that banning spray cans or "stopping rockets from punching holes in the ozone layer" are effective solutions for climate change. The largest contributor to global warming is increased CO2 from carbon emissions.

One of the major causes for large scale confusion about global warming and climate change are articles and blog entries that are not well-researched, draw incorrect conclusions about data that is unrelated to their claim, and often times result in being very misleading. A recent blog entry on a Discovery Communications blog claims that aerosol spray products are making significant contributions to global warming, but references an article that does not support that claim. The author confused consumer aerosol spray products with “aerosols (sulfates and black carbon)” which are particles in the air that come from burning coal, diesel and biodiesel, not from aerosol spray products. That same author urges users not to use the site as a resource because it is “sponsored by industry.” With so much misinformation out there about aerosol products and the environment, there is a need for information from the industry experts. It is in the best interest of the aerosol industry to give consumers accurate information about the technology behind the product form, share proper usage and disposal/recycling information, and correct misinformation about aerosols and environment, when necessary.

In a time when many consumers are striving to “green” many aspects of their lives, it is easy to see how difficult it is to decipher which information sources are factual and credible. As demonstrated from the blog entry above, consumer aerosol products receive an undeserving amount of blame in relation to actual impact that they have on the environment these days. Therefore, CAPCO will continue in its efforts reach more consumers with facts from industry experts.

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