If you’re a homeowner, chances are you might have heard the term “volatile organic compounds” once, either from an HVAC technician or on the internet. If you’re interested in learning more about volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from a source that isn’t a research paper with a lot of flowery language, you have come to the right place! The pros at Acree are here to clear the air on volatile organic compounds and tell you exactly what they are and what effects they can have on you.
What are Volatile Organic Compounds?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, volatile organic compounds are essentially “emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids.” These gases or chemicals can have adverse long-term or short-term effects on your household’s health. Here are some additional facts you should know about VOCs.
- EPA’s Office of Research and Development states that about a dozen of these VOCs are 2 to 5 times higher inside homes than outside.
- VOCs come from cleaning, disinfecting, and cosmetic products. They are also found in paints, varnishes, wax, aerosol sprays, air fresheners, pesticides, fuels and automotive products, moth repellents, glues, and adhesives.
- Using VOCs can lead to exposure to high pollutant levels for a long period of time.
What are The Health Effects of Volatile Organic Compounds?
As you know by now, exposure to VOCs for a long time can take a toll on your health. Here are some of the reactions VOCs can cause:
- Headaches and nausea
- Irritation of the eyes, nose and throat
- Some can cause cancer in animals and in humans
- Allergic skin reaction
Keep in mind that the extent of the damage to your health depends on how toxic the organic chemicals are and the length of exposure to them.
How Can Your Prevent Exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds?
Now that you know what VOCs are and the effects they have on your health, it’s important to learn how to reduce prolonged exposure to them.
Ventilate Your Home
By increasing the amount of fresh air in your home, you can reduce high concentrations of VOCs. Open your windows and doors occasionally and make use of the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom.
Buy and Store Properly
When buying products with VOCs, make sure you only purchase the amount you need. These products can release chemicals even during storage. As such, buying high amounts of these products can still bring VOCs into your home. If you must store them, keep them in a separate area like your garage or shed.
Renovate When No One is Home
Set specific times throughout your day to renovate, preferably when your home is empty. Wear a mask and take frequent breaks from your home-improvement project, to prevent prolonged exposure to VOCs.
A lot of these products have clear instructions and warnings on how they should be used and how they should be disposed of. These labels are there for a reason so be sure to follow them.
Prevent Exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds with Acree!
If you want more information on volatile organic compounds and how you can prevent exposure to them, contact the pros at Acree! Call us today at 800-937-6736 or schedule an appointment online!