VOCs – Volatile organic compounds, are gasses emitted from certain household solids and liquids. VOCs come with a wide variety of chemicals with some of them being able to cause adverse health effects in the short-term as well as the long-term. Volatile organic compounds are usually high indoor when compared to outdoors. Experts state that VOCs are up to ten times higher indoors than outdoors. Organic chemicals are mostly used in household paints, varnishes, cleaning solutions, disinfectant solutions, pesticides, wood preservatives, and some aerosol sprays. This is where VOC testing comes in handy. Here is an overview of VOC testing.
Many Household Products Have Volatile Organic Compounds In Them
Household products mostly use organic chemicals as their main ingredients. Some of them include paints, pesticides, dry-cleaned clothes, stored automotive products or fuels, disinfectants, cleaners, and wood preservatives. These products would usually release VOCs while using them or when they are stored to some extent. A study conducted by the EPA’s Office of Research and Development revealed that the levels of about a dozen organic pollutants that are two to five times higher inside your home compared to outdoors. There is no difference in the results whether your home is located in an industrial area or a rural area. In fact, people expose themselves to higher levels of organic compounds even long after the activity is completed.
The adverse health effects caused by these pollutants include throat, eye, and nose irritations, nausea, loss of concentration, headaches, liver damage, kidney damage, conjunctival irritation, fatigue, dizziness, dyspnea, allergic skin reactions, emesis, and epistaxis. This is where VOC or volatile organic compound testing comes in handy. This testing can be conducted in two ways. The first method is to use a photo-ionizing detector or PID meter which will help detect the real-time levels of VOCs in your home. The second method is to use sorbent tubes for lab analysis, usually GCMS.
An On-site PID could be effectively used to check the levels of VOCs in your home. The detector uses a strong UV lamp with a specialty sensor which will ionize the gasses in the air. This will help report the total levels of VOCs in the air. These meters are commonly used by qualified inspectors to measure the indoor air quality. The second method of testing involves capturing a sample of the indoor air and sending it to a laboratory for testing purposes. These are the common methods used to test the indoor air in your home for total levels of VOCs.
The Steps You Should Take To Test For VOC’s
There are several steps that you can take to reduce the levels of exposure when using household products that emit these gasses. Increasing the ventilation in the area when using such products is one step in this direction. Use the products according to the directions given on the labels. Keep the products out of reach of kids and pets. Never mix household products unless it is directed on the label. These are some of the important steps to reduce the levels of exposure when using household products that emit VOCs.
Certain household liquids and solids would emit gasses while being used or stored. These gasses are known as volatile organic compounds or VOCs. The read above offers information on the importance of VOC or volatile organic compound testing. To schedule a VOC test or a Formaldehyde test in your home, visit our home page and schedule an appointment today.