Ozone Interactions with Human Hair: Ozone Uptake Rates and Product Formation


In this study, the cumulative ozone uptake, the ozone reaction probability and product yields of volatile aldehydes and ketones were quantified for human scalp hair. Hair was chosen because ozone reacts readily with skin oils and the personal-care products that coat hair. Due to their proximity to the breathing zone, these reactions can influence personal exposure to ozone and its volatile reaction products. Hair samples were collected before and after washing and/or application of personal hair-care products. Samples were exposed to ozone for 24 h in a tubular Teflon reactor; ozone consumption rates and product emission rates were quantified. The mean values of integrated ozone uptake, initial and final follicle reaction probability values for eight washed and unwashed samples were, respectively, 5.1±4.4 μmol O3 g−1, (13±8)×10−5, and (1.0±1.3)×10−5. Unwashed hair taken close to the scalp exhibited the highest integrated ozone uptake and reaction probability, indicating that scalp oils are responsible for much of the ozone reactivity. Otherwise there was no significant difference between washed and unwashed hair. Compounds (geranyl acetone, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, and decanal) associated with ozone reacting with sebum were observed as secondary products more frequently from unwashed hair than for washed hair and the summed yield of aldehydes ranged from 0.00 to 0.86. Based on reaction probabilities, cumulative ozone uptake and typical sebum generation rates, ozone flux to skin and hair is anticipated to be nearly transport limited, reducing personal exposure to ozone and increasing exposure to reaction products.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


National Science Foundation (U.S.)

Keywords and Phrases

Exposure; Reaction Probability; Sebum; Yield; Hair; Ozone; Volatile organic compounds

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2008 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2008