Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands.
What do I do now?
Listen to your nose: when something smells, it is more
than likely VOCs. Store all known toxic products separate
from your everyday living areas. VOCs are difficult to filter
out which means polluted air is recirculated. Make sure to
regularly check and replace air filters and use a VOC monitor
to remind you when to refresh your air. The Airthings VOC
sensor monitors the freshness of your air.
How can high levels of VOC affect me?
Health effects may include:
- Eye, nose and throat irritation
- Headaches, loss of coordination and nausea
- Damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system
- Some organics can cause cancer in animals, some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.
Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include:
- conjunctival irritation
- nose and throat discomfort
- allergic skin reaction
- declines in serum cholinesterase levels