Aerosol Product Definition
The CSMA defines an aerosol product as follows:
"A self-pressurized packaging form, consisting of a metal, glass or plastic container with a permanently attached continuous or metering valve, and designed to dispense products as sprays, streams, gels, foams, lotions or gases. Sizes range from about 0.1 fluid ounce (2.8 mL) to 33.8 fluid ounces (1 liter). (Note: The scientific term "aerosol" refers to small particles of a liquid or solid suspended in gas.)"
Overview of an aerosol container
A Brief History of the Aerosol PackageThe first aerosol package was developed during World War II. The first products were insecticides used to protect US servicemen from disease carrying insects. After the war, aerosols were adapted for a wide range of consumer and commercial products.
Aerosols and the Environment
During the 1970's scientists were concerned that the earth's stratospheric ozone layer (the layer that surrounds the earth and protects it from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun) was showing signs of thinning. One of the sources suspected of causing damage to the ozone layer was chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's). At the time, CFC's were used in air conditioners, refrigerators, aerosols and industrial processes.
As a result of these concerns, the aerosol industry began finding alternatives to CFC propellants. In 1978, a law was passed by the E.P.A. to ban CFC propellants from all but a few specific types of products, mainly medical products, such as asthma inhalers (the CFC's used in these inhalers will be phased out by the year 2000). We are proud to say that we have not been using CFC's since 1976.
Other countries, including Australia, Canada, Mexico and various nations in Central America, South America and Europe, banned CFC propellants from aerosol containers during the 1980's. Under the Montreal Protocol agreement of 1987, CFC production was to be phased out of industrialized nations by January 1, 1996, and developing nations by 2010.
Aerosol Cans are Recyclable
Approximately 90% of aerosol cans are made of tinplated steel, about 10% are made of aluminum. Both types of cans are recyclable. A new steel container is made from more than 25 percent recycled steel.
For more information, please visit http://www.epa.gov/docs/ozone.
Our thanks to CAPCO and the CSMA for providing us with the above diagram.
Be sure to visit the CAPCO and CSMA Web sites for more information.