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What are VOCs and What's the big deal about them?

VOCs or volatile organic compounds are around us every day. They come from products in our homes and offices that “off-gas” releasing harmful chemicals into the air that we breathe. Because our buildings have become more efficient and airtight these chemicals get trapped within our homes, sometimes accumulating to harmful levels.

Have you ever noticed your eyes and skin becoming irritated when you get home from work, or you have difficulty breathing at the office? You may be experiencing acute symptoms of elevated VOCs. If not dealt with, long term exposure to elevated VOC levels could lead to chronic health problems and even cancer.

The carpet on our floors, the printer in the copy room at work, the candles and air fresheners you bought at the store, all off-gas VOCs. Fireplaces, and smoking, even the paint on our walls produce VOCs. They are all around us but can be managed if proper precautions are taken.

Proper ventilation is the most important component in managing elevated VOC levels within a building. Adequate ventilation should take place during construction, like when the floors and walls were being finished, or in your everyday life during routine cleaning.

Besides ventilation, properly storing cleaners, solvents, and other materials outside the building or in a detached structure or simply getting rid of unused cleaning products, old paint, etc. are the best solutions for preventing the accumulation of VOCs within your home.

If you’re concerned about the VOC levels within your home, call us today to schedule your Indoor Air Quality Assessment!


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