VOCs – What are they and their impact on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ)?

VOCs – What are they and their impact on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ)?

Do you understand the term VOCs and what they can do to your health?

VOCs known as Volatile Organic Compounds are chemicals and gases that are most commonly found- in the indoor living environment. It can be present in anything, from a room freshener to that new air conditioner you bought for your living room. VOCs can also be present in your regular cleaning solutions or in the furniture that you recently purchased.

These volatile organic compounds have the potential to pollute your indoor air quality and make it much more harmful to inhale than the air present outside. While the concentration of the VOCs sources depends on the usage of the materials containing these compounds, it is essential to learn about the danger they can pose to you and your family’s well-being.

Inhaling volatile organic compounds over time poses danger to your health and can cause potential damage to your organs. When air present inside your home or office is exposed to harmful air pollutants, then the concentration and productivity level of a person naturally decreases.

How does exposure to VOCs affect health?

The risk of being affected from inhaling any chemical compound depends on how long a person is exposed to that polluted air.

Inhaling volatile organic compounds in low amounts for a long period may increase the risk of respiratory problems for many people, especially elders. Several studies show that exposure to these compounds can make the condition worse for people suffering from asthma or who are particularly sensitive to chemical substances.

It is essential to remember that VOCs are a group of chemicals and each chemical has its toxic nature with the potential for causing different health issues.

Common symptoms of exposure to VOCs in high amounts include:

Acute exposures Chronic
Allergies Cancer
Headaches Liver damage
Nausea/Dizziness Central nervous damage
Frequent asthma attacks Kidney damage

What is a safe level of VOCs?

For the safety of your health, it is best to limit your usage and exposure to products that tend to release VOCs in the air. People with respiratory problems such as asthma and people with heightened sensitivity to chemical substances may be more susceptible to irritation and sickness from VOCs.

Most studies from reputed health experts are conducted on a single chemical, and not much is known about the effects on health due to exposure to a combination of chemicals. As the levels of toxicity differ for each compound present in VOCs, there are no health-based guidelines for VOCs as a group.

How can you reduce exposure to volatile organic compounds?

To maintain healthy indoor air quality, it is imperative to reduce the usage of materials that release VOCs in the air. There are times when we unknowingly use products and materials in our house that have high amounts of volatile organic compounds in them.

Hence, it is necessary to be aware of the products and materials that tend to release harmful chemicals into the air.

It is advised to keep the exposure to the emission of VOCs from products containing methylene chloride to a minimum amount. Products that contain methylene chloride including paint, adhesive removers, and spray paints are converted to carbon monoxide in the body and can cause symptoms associated with exposure to carbon monoxide. Carefully read the labels containing health hazard information and caution on the proper use of the products containing methylene chloride.

How can Tanziif help?

Tanziif offers ISIAQ certified air quality testing services. The team arranges a thorough inspection with the customer to determine the probable root cause and extent of poor Indoor Air Quality. To schedule air quality testing for your home, call @800TANZIIF today!

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