EN 16738 Emission Standard of Combustible Air Fresheners


Developed by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), EN 16738 specifies a test method for determination of emissions from combustible air fresheners into indoor air by means of chamber testing according to ISO 16000-9.

Development of this standard was driven by a need for a consensus based standard for emissions from combustible air fresheners.  Specifically, market leading manufacturers pushed for a standard method in response to tests conducted by researchers and consumer advocates which reported that the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by burning combustible air fresheners were hazardous to indoor air.


The purpose of the test is to determine the emissions rate from the use of combustible air fresheners.  The test method is applicable to Scented Candles, Incense, Oil Lamps, and Catalytic Lamps.

EN 16738 defines testing procedures that minimize the effect of testing on the combustion process.  Chamber tests are conducted in a dynamic environmental emission testing chamber (according to ISO 16000-9) with volume 1.0 m3 ± 0.1 m3.

The standard includes the following measuring methods:

  • VOCs (GC/MS by ISO 16000-6 and ISO 16017-1)
  • Benzene (GC/MS by ISO 16000-6 and ISO 16017-1)
  • Naphthalene (GC/MS by ISO 16000-6 and ISO 16017-1)
  • Formaldehyde (HPLC by EN 717-1 or ISO 16000-3)

Other chemicals may be detected and reported by the laboratory.  Additional information is included in the standard for optional measurement of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen oxides (NOx), and Carbon Monoxide (CO) by continuous measurement devices.


UL is the global leader in chamber emissions testing and can deliver customized reports to fit client needs and timelines.  Testing to a consensus standard like EN 16738 helps to ensure that the test results are accurate and reproducible.

A trusted resource for product emissions testing, UL has evaluated over 70,000 products and cataloged more than 10,000 chemicals from product emissions.  By testing according to the EN 16378 method with UL, manufacturers of combustible air fresheners can be confident that their test results will accurately represent emissions into indoor air.  The emission rate data can be used by UL’s toxicologists to assess exposure risk for consumers that use these products.

Our state-of-the-art technology allows us to measure chemicals from a wide range of products with the utmost precision. Our familiarity with both national and international emissions testing standards and exposure guidelines enables UL to partner with manufacturers to conduct product emissions testing in ways that help reduce risk.


For more information on EN 16378, please call us at:

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