VOCs

Volatile Organic Compounds can be a silent health hazard in your home or office.  The good news is that testing for VOCs is a quick and easy process with instant results.  Once we know more about your potential exposure, we can walk you through how to improve your air quality moving forward.

Sources of VOCs

Cleaning Agents
Carpets & Flooring
Solvents
Cosmetics
Consumer Products
Paints
Aerosol Sprays
Dry Cleaned Clothing

What are VOCs?

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) include a wide variety of chemicals that are emitted as gasses from certain solids or liquids:
 

  • Benzene

  • Perchloroethylene (Perc)

  • Formaldehyde

Over one thousand products, many being common in the American household, emit these chemicals.  Concentrations of VOCs have been tested and found to be up to ten times higher indoors, and increasing levels pose an even greater risk to children than adults. Elevated concentrations can persist in the air long after product use, exacerbating the hazard to human health. 

 

Many VOCs can often cause a "chemical smell".  If you experience an unusual or new smell in your home or office you should have a professional team come in to assess the quality of the air to ensure no toxins are present.

What are signs of a Potential Problem?

Acute exposures to VOCs have the potential to yield unwanted health effects.  Some VOCs are known human carcinogens and others are suspected to be.  Further studies suggest that VOCs induce asthma symptoms and allergic type reactions.  Those most susceptible to the harmful effects are allergic individuals, individuals with asthma, children, and the elderly.  Health effects depend on the toxicity of the chemical, how much is in the air, and how long and often it is inhaled. 

General Exposure
Eye Irritation
Nose Irritation
Throat Irritation
Headaches
Nausea
Added Exposure
Dermal Reactions
Dyspnea
Emesis
Epistaxis
Fatigue
Dizziness
Chronic Exposure
Liver Damage
Kidney Damage
Central Nervous System Damage

How Can You Prevent VOC Exposure?

It can be quite difficult to tell if you have an alarmingly high level of VOCs in your home or office. If you are concerned about a potential problem it is best to have a trained professional come to assess and sample the suspect area(s). Testing for VOCs is a quick and non-invasive process using handheld devices that provide an accurate and nearly instantaneous reading. Once we have an understanding of the air quality in your space we can provide a detailed report and recommendation based on the results.

Ventilation

Regular ventilation is an effective way to reduce exposure to VOCs. This can be done either by a controlled system or naturally through opening windows and doors.

Source Control

Carefully reading product labels and instructions is a simple yet remarkably effective way to avoid VOC sources and exposure in indoor environments.

Air Purification

Air cleaning devices equipped with suitable filters are a great way to reduce total volatile organic compounds in indoor air.

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