Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are a large group of carbon-based chemicals that easily evaporate at room temperature. While most people can smell high levels of some VOCs, other VOCs have no odor. Odor does not indicate the level of risk from inhalation of this group of chemicals. There are thousands of different VOCs produced and used in our daily lives.
Where do VOCs come from?
Many products we have in our homes release or “off-gas” VOCs. Some examples of sources of VOCs are:
- Building Materials
- Carpets and adhesives
- Composite wood products
- Sealing caulks
- Upholstery fabrics
- Vinyl Floors
Home and Personal Care Products
- Air fresheners
- Air cleaners that produce ozone
- Cleaning and disinfecting chemicals
- Fuel oil, gasoline
- Moth balls
- Vehicle exhaust running a car in an attached garage
What are the health effects of VOC exposure?
Short-Term (Acute) to high levels of VOCs
- Eye, nose and throat irritation
- Nausea / Vomiting
- Worsening of asthma symptoms
- Long-Term (Chronic) to high levels of VOCs
Increased risk of:
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
- Central Nervous System damage
What levels of VOCs is safe?
The best health protection measure is to limit your exposure to products and materials that contain VOCs when possible. If you think you may be having health problems caused by VOCs, try reducing levels in your home. It is important to have an air quality test performed. Please contact us today!