The general scientific definition of “aerosol” is a suspension of solid or liquid particles in air or another gas. One such example found in nature would be fog. Consumer aerosol products can be more precisely be described as pressurized products. These encompass any number of containers that dispense a spray, mist, or foam for a variety of applications such as whipped cream, hair spray, and air fresheners.
Aerosol products are hermetically sealed to prevent tampering and contamination. They conveniently deliver the exact amount of product needed, exactly where it is needed, without waste. They are ready-to-use and do not require the consumer to measure and mix. Aerosol products provide beneficial application forms not achievable with other product types, such as thick and luxurious shave foams. They also promote human health in products such as sunscreens, repellants for disease-carrying insects, and metered-dose inhalers.
No! This is a common misconception based on the belief that they contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) which are harmful to Earth’s ozone layer. The truth is that the aerosol industry lead the way to formulate away from CFC’s years before the EPA banned their use in 1978. Since that time, the industry has continued to develop new chemistries to help improve air quality and to provide safer and more effective solutions for consumers. In addition, a majority of aerosol containers are made of steel, the most recycled material in the world.
Propellants can be any one gas, or mixture of gases, that are compressed or liquefied. All aerosol products use propellants to provide the pressure that dispenses the contents of the container. Some containers utilize barriers, such as a bag or piston, to separate the propellant from the product that is dispensed. Most aerosols, however, require the propellant to interact with the other ingredients to deliver the unique and desirable characteristics that cannot be achieved with other packaging types.