Health & Environmental Research Online (HERO)

Print Feedback Export to File
Journal Article 
Organic aerosol formation in citronella candle plumes 
Bothe, M; Donahue, NM 
Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health
ISSN: 1873-9318
EISSN: 1873-9326 
Citronella candles are widely used as insect repellants, especially outdoors in the evening. Because these essential oils are unsaturated, they have a unique potential to form secondary organic aerosol (SOA) via reaction with ozone, which is also commonly elevated on summer evenings when the candles are often in use. We investigated this process, along with primary aerosol emissions, by briefly placing a citronella tealight candle in a smog chamber and then adding ozone to the chamber. In repeated experiments, we observed rapid and substantial SOA formation after ozone addition; this process must therefore be considered when assessing the risks and benefits of using citronella candle to repel insects. 
Citronella; PM emissions; Secondary organic aerosol; Ozonolysis