VOCs and their impact on Indoor Air Quality

Last updated: 17 Aug 2019  |  1025 Views  | 

VOCs and their impact on Indoor Air Quality

Volatile Organic Compounds and Indoor Air Quality


VOCs--What are they?

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are a group of carbon-based chemicals, emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. Despite the fact that VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term effects on health, you might be surprised to learn that things you have around your home contain VOCs. 

Sources of VOCs

Household products, including:

  • paints and solvents
  • wood preservatives
  • aerosol spray
  • cleansers and disinfectants
  • repellents and air fresheners
  • pesticide
  • stored fuels and automotive products
  • dry-cleaned clothing

Other products, including:

  • building materials and furnishings
  • office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper
  • graphics and craft materials e.g. glues and adhesives, permanent markers and photographic solutions.

Health Effects

The ability of organic chemicals to cause health effects varies greatly from those that are highly toxic to those with no known health effect. 

Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include:

  • eye, nose, throat irritation
  • headache
  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • allergic skin reaction
  • emesis
  • epistaxis
  • dyspnea

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