VOC Implications

VOC Exposure, Implications
VOC Exposure

People spend most of their time indoors, leaving them susceptible to the harmful effects of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) exposure. The inhalation of air pollutants may cause symptoms that most would not initially associate with VOC exposure, these include headaches, fatigue, nausea, allergic skin reaction, eye and respiratory irritation, etc. Through the repeated exposure of VOCs, these symptoms may develop into long-term adverse health effects like central nervous system damage, liver, heart, or kidney damage, or cancer.

VOCs consist of a wide variety of molecular compounds with varying degrees of potency depending on their boiling point. Based on this, they are classified into three groups: Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds (SVOCs), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and Very Volatile Organic Compounds (VVOCs). Common VOCs found in offices, schools, and homes include formaldehyde, chloride, decane, butoxyethanol, limonene, styrene, isopentane, xylenes, perchloroethylene, toluene, methylene, and vinyl chloride. Exposure to these pollutants can lead to allergic contact dermatitis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, allergic rhinitis, asthma, and can increase the risk of developing certain cancers.

There is substantial evidence that warrants precautionary measures be taken to avoid possible acute and chronic health problems. A comprehensive notebook of hazardous air pollutants and their effects can be found on the EPA’s website here. According to a recent study conducted by Brian McDonald, a chemist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, VOC-emitting consumer products now contribute as much to air pollution as gasoline or diesel fuel emissions in urban areas. With most of these products typically residing indoors, VOC testing is now more important than ever. ATS provides VOC testing and analysis to assist vendors in offering low VOC products. Our expansive laboratory capabilities help companies test for the presence of VOCs. If in need of VOC testing, contact us today and we will respond in a prompt and timely manner to help you determine the best fit for your VOC testing needs.

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Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemical gases emitted from solids and liquids at room temperature. Fuels, household products, cosmetic products, disinfectants, and many other cleaning solvents are examples of products that may emit VOCs during use or storage.

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