How to reduce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) in the home
Firstly, a quick introduction about volatile organic compounds and where they are found then we will share some tips on how to reduce (VOCs) in the home.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals that have a high vapour pressure at room temperature. VOCs are released as gases from certain solids or liquids.
A recent survey carried out by the EPA revealed that levels of about a dozen common organic pollutants to be 2 to 5 times higher inside homes than outside.
You will find VOCs in many everyday items in the house. Such as home furnishing synthetic carpet and soft furnishings. Also, in decorating materials such as paint and varnishes. And cleaning materials, air fresheners and polishes.
50% of our nation’s 115,000 schools have problems linked to air quality (EPA)
Volatile organic compounds are known to cause a variety of adverse health effects. Such as burning sensations in the eyes, sore throat and headaches, and, long-term exposure to VOCs can cause allergies and asthma. The symptoms felt are often similar to a cold, so it is hard to identify if you have been affected. A simple way to find out is if your symptoms go away soon after leaving the building.
Exposure to Volatile organic compounds varies depending on the temperature and air exchange rate within the indoor space. VOC emissions will increase with increased temperature and will be lower with a lower temperature. Emissions will also increase with increased humidity and be more depressed with lower humidity.
Top Five Tips How to reduce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) in the home
Keep your home well ventilated during and after painting, as some paints release VOCs and are highly toxic. Tightly sealed buildings have little ventilation which traps toxic fumes inside.
Increase ventilation when using toxic cleaning materials such as bleach, they contain many harmful pollutants, such as VOCs and formaldehyde.
Replace toxic cleaning materials with products that are environmentally friendly and do not release VOCs or pollutants. Also, avoid aerosols and sprays as this harm the ozone layer.
Do not use air fresheners they release harmful toxins and VOCs into the atmosphere. As an alternative use essential oils, they are natural and also have many healing benefits.
Avoid synthetic carpets as they emit formaldehyde vapours and VOCs that contribute to indoor air pollution.