What are VOCs and how to reduce the health risks of VOCs

Unfortunately, there is no international standard or body on the classification of VOCs. VOCs or volatile organic compounds are carbon-containing compounds that evaporate or evaporate easily. Unstable organic compounds are found naturally in nature and are often noticeable as an odor.

Commonly occurring VOCs include formaldehyde, benzene, methylene chloride, perchloroethylene, methyl tert-butyl ether (MBTE), methane (often specially classified), chlorofluorocarbons, styrene, and limonene.

The problem is that our modern industrial age is addicted to VOCs, and it is only recently that we have become aware of the inherent health risks of VOCs. A wide range of everyday products contain volatile organic compounds: paints, glues, fuels, solvents, coatings, permanent marker pens, polish remover, dry cleaning agents, feedstocks, refrigerants, wood preservatives, aerosols, aerosols, aerosols , Paint strippers. VOCs can be found in almost any household product that has a strong ‘chemical’ odor.

This is a long list of products that contain VOCs. Few manufacturers now label their products as ‘Low VOC’ or ‘VOC Free’. As I mentioned in my first paragraph, there is no international standard for defining VOCs, so labeling other VOCs as ‘low VOC’ may be higher than other VOCs approved by the manufacturer’s VOC guidelines.

A common example of the detrimental health effects of VOCs is in the actual problem of ‘Sick Building Syndrome’. Office workers are exposed to a sealed atmosphere filled with VOC emitting items. They experience sore throat, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness. VOC exposure can cause asthma and allergies. Contact with certain VOCs has been shown to cause cancer in animals, and it is widely suspected that it can infect humans as well. The benzene VOC found in cigarette smoke is definitely carcinogenic.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides some simple guidelines for reducing the health risks posed by VOCs to humans. Many of them are common sense and not difficult to follow.

  • Make your home properly ventilated. The biggest problem is the production of VOCs per billion parts in indoor areas. Open your windows and try not to block your house from outside air. The mixing of air inside and outside dilutes the VOC concentration.
  • Read the manufacturer’s recommendations on storage. If you have an open paint can, keep it in the garage far away from where people live.
  • If you have unused old paints, varnishes, strippers, photocopier ink or polish remover, discard them responsibly.
  • Do not buy VOC bulk containing products. You can save a few cents, but bringing ‘poison’ to the places where you live should minimize it.
  • Finally, maintain maximum exposure to benzene, methylene chloride, and perchlorethylene. These are the worst VOCs in terms of human health problems. Cigarette smoke, stored fuels, and automobile emissions contain benzene; Paint strippers, aerosol spray paints and adhesive removers contain methylene chloride; Perchlorethylene is present in freshly dried and cleaned materials and textiles.

Another VOC to watch out for is formaldehyde, which is often found in adhesives and furniture varnishes. Formaldehyde has been shown to cause allergies in children and respiratory problems in adults. Nowadays there are few adhesives and glues such as formaldehyde free healthy bond glue and sealer. Bamboo Mountain Fuse Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring Strand Woven bamboo is used in the process of making formaldehyde free glue. Columbia Forest products use soy-based glue to make formaldehyde-free plywood. They use PureBond technology, which artificially mimics the bisexual threads used by mussels to cling to rocks. Another great product is the Eimann Fabrik VOC Free Engine Degreaser, which cleans your engine of dirt, grime, grease and oil without releasing toxic VOCs.

Finally, the best advice to give is to live a little more ‘organic’. Open your windows instead of using Aircon. Discard air-fresheners and air purifiers. Nails grow well without polish; Stop using aerosol can products. Reduce your dry cleaning. In short, everything that smells chemical around your home is harmful to you and seriously harmful to your children. Pay special attention to cheap furniture and plywood products.

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