VOCs exist amongst diverse industries and sectors, including manufacturing, refineries, industrial painting and coating, processing, chemical, wastewater management, pharmaceutical, fence line monitoring, and more. VOCs include a very wide variety of types of m… Some VOCs are harmless, even in a confined space like a home. Excess VOCs in the home can be very harmful to the health of any residents. However, there are many steps you can take to reduce your exposure to VOCs in your home. Some VOCs are even cancer-causing agents. The complaint can be in one specific room, or a problem across the entire building. When your air conditioning system receives regular tune-ups and is functioning at peak efficiency, it can easily filter out potentially harmful pollutants, VOCs and the like. Mattresses are known to release minute amounts of gaseous chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Avoid mixing household products. Did you know that one of the easiest and most efficient ways to improve the indoor air quality in your home is by maintaining your air conditioning system? It’s a complicated topic. We are open and our team would be delighted to hear from you. VOCs are chemical compounds, they are described as volatile because they evaporate easily, releasing molecules into the atmosphere, your exposure to VOCs can be monitored using gas detection equipment. For information about the regulation of specific pollutants, call the EPA Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Assistance Information Service (202-554-1404). If you have unexplained allergies, respiratory illnesses, chest tightness, or changes in breathing, try to think about if you are spending more time in a new indoor environment. If dizziness and headaches are a common symptom for you, you may want to monitor the levels of carbon monoxide (CO) in your home. If someone in your home smokes tobacco products, the smoke may be the greatest source of formaldehyde in your home. Exposure to VOCs can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, as well as upper respiratory infections, nausea, allergic reactions and headaches, etc. The Risk Decreases with Time. Some of the long-term signs of VOC exposure can disguise themselves as seemingly normal symptoms like an allergic skin reaction or leg cramps. In addition to following the aforementioned guidelines when shopping for furniture, toys and other household products, there are additional steps you can take to protect your child from VOC exposure. How do you know if you have a sick building syndrome or building related illness situation on your hands? The risk brought on by VOCs and their smell in new cars is high during the first 6 months in the car’s life. Liver, kidney, lung and central nervous system damage 4. “Building related illness” is used when the symptoms can be directly attributed to some contaminant in the building. Anthropogenic VOCs are regulated by law, especially indoors, where … Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. Remember, new buildings may average VOC levels at 20 to 40 mg per m 3, and the CSIRO report found total VOC concentrations for new cars to be as high as 64 mg per m3 of air. “Sick building syndrome” is used when the cause of the discomfort cannot be identified. Breathing lower levels of VOCs for a long period of time may increase risk of health problems in some people. Exposure to some heavy metal VOCs has also been linked to an increased risk of learning disabilities in children, according to the EPA. During activities like stripping paint, indoor levels can be 1,000 times the outdoor levels. In addition, the VOC-rich air in your home over the following years can put you or a family member at a higher risk of developing asthma or allergies [source: Choi et al ]. Since most of these compounds evaporate into the surrounding air, it is critical to have monitoring systems in place that can detect dangerous levels of VOCs and alert nearby workers. We therefore continue to be able to provide a full service to all our clients across all departments. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals that have a high vapor […] You can also view the EPA’s website for more information about indoor air quality and protecting yourself from volatile organic compounds. Workers are often under risk of gas exposure in situations where atmospheres cannot be controlled, such as in confined space entry […] Overexposure to VOC emissions can lead to respiratory problems and cause lung damage, but other issues that can result from exposure to excessive chemical emissions include : 1. Lung cancer is another grave concern about the long-term health consequences of VOCs. But as scientists continue to study their effects, some VOCs are turning out to be even more hazardous than originally thought. Obviously, it is best to minimize and/or halt the exposure to VOCs, particularly in your home, but that is typically easier said than done. Acceptable VOC levels in the air for human health Acceptable levels of TVOC ranges from 0.3 to 0.5 mg/m3 of concentration. The severity of the health consequences, and how the health consequences will manifest depends on the specific source of contamination. If you have VOC-containing products stored in your home, try relocating these products to an outdoor storage area. VOCs are dangerous for all humans, but their effects are more pronounced in newborns. Paints, varnishes and wax all contain organic solvents, as d… Others are potentially lethal carcinogens. VOCs contaminants can be divided into a few main categories: VOCs include a handful of different chemicals that have various short and long-term health effects. The real risks of formaldehyde are associated with very high levels of the chemical, which has been linked to rare nose and throat cancers in workers in certain manufacturing facilities, power plants and a number of other industries. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. If your baby is exposed to VOCs, especially those with hormone-disrupting properties, (s)he could suffer from respiratory complications or allergic reactions. Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds (SVOCs) The three classifications are all important to indoor air and are all considered to fall within the broad definition of indoor volatile organic compounds. Professional maintenance provided by your local HVAC company will help ensure your air conditioning and heating systems are clean and functioning efficiently, delivering air quality boosting power. Just some of the main sources of VOCs include: In addition to the general short and long-term health effects, two illnesses are specific to volatile organic compounds: Sick Building Syndrome and Building Related Illness. Inorganic carbon-containing gases such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are excluded from this definition. ION Science manufactures gas detection equipment for monitoring exposure to toxic levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Keep products containing VOCs outdoors. detecting combustible gases at LEL levels, this technology is not much use to protect against the toxic effects of VOCs. We recommend regularly monitoring formaldehyde levels and, if possible, locate the source of the pollution. 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