Many people are familiar with impurities such as pollen, dust, smoke and dander, but one class of impurity that is commonly unheard of is volatile organic compounds (VOC). However, though VOC are the least familiar compounds, they are one of the most dangerous impurities and it is essential to know how to protect yourself. Before you learn about the protective measures against VOCs, you need to know what VOCs are. This blog post will help you better understand VOCs and how you can tackle them in your commercial property.
What are VOCs?
VOCs refer to any carbon-based compound that evaporates and becomes airborne at room temperature. Gases such as carbon dioxide and monoxide do not belong to the family of VOCs, but complicated organic compounds with low boiling points are. One scary part about VOCs is that you may unknowingly be completely surrounded by them.
Examples of VOCs
After knowing what exactly are VOCs, it is important to identify some of the common ones. Formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene, are one of the most popular examples of VOCs. The scary thing about VOCs is not just what they are, but also where they are found. There are many objects and products that have volatile organic compounds, such as paints, composite wood boards mainly used in furniture, upholstery, and air fresheners.
As seen from the above, products that give out VOCs are incredibly common. Now you may be wondering why VOCs are found in all these different products. One answer is that although volatile organic compounds are not special and rare chemicals, they are ones that can be found in many different manufacturing processes. As VOCs accumulate in the area you are working or living in, they will lead to several health problems and issues.
What makes VOCs Dangerous?
Similar to other home air contaminant, volatile organic compounds enter your body system through your respiratory system. When this happens, a variety of health problems such as coughing and irritation may develop. In cases where VOCs are concentrated enough, you may also suffer from severe headaches. If you suffer from any existing health problems such as asthma or chronic conditions, your existing symptoms may be aggravated. In severe cases, VOCs may lead to a higher risk of cancer as well, but these cases are quite rare.
How to Protect Yourself?
One of the best ways to eliminate or reduce the amount of VOCs in your area is to use an air purifier that has carbon filtration. Carbon filters prevent VOCs from circulating by capturing gases and VOCs. If you are unsure whether your commercial building has a VOC problem, you can also make use of an air quality monitor to measure the VOC levels in the air you are breathing. One way to reduce VOC is to reduce asbestos and radon as well.
Iris Environmental Laboratories conduct both asbestos testing and inspection to help improve the air quality in commercial properties. You can contact us at 1800-908-6679 to find out more on our asbestos testing services.