CleanAir Terminology Lesson

November 6, 2013 at 5:13 am Leave a comment

Here in the air cleaning business, we use a variety of terms, many of which may or may not be common to the average person. While wading through some information this week I ran across one of these terms often enough where it caught my interest and even I wanted to make sure that I had the best understanding of the definition and what it all encompasses. Therefore, in an effort to share my new found wealth of knowledge, here is your first lesson in CleanAir4Life Terminology 101.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Sounds scary, right? It is a little bit, but also manageable. Volatile Organic Compounds (which from here on out I will most likely shorten to VOCs to save my hands from cramping) include a variety of chemicals that are emitted from certain solids or liquids and may have short- and/or long-term adverse health effects. These are found in common items such as paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluid and carbonless copy paper, graphics and craft materials including glues and adhesives, permanent markers and photographic solutions. This is by no means an infinite list, but organic chemicals are used as ingredients in these products and VOCs will be released as these products are being used and also to some degree while in storage.

The thing that is scary about this type of air pollution is that it is on average 2-5 times higher indoors than out, meaning that the very space you live and breath in the most is, to some extent, toxic and volatile. Common health effects from frequent or ongoing exposure to these kinds of items include: eye, nose, and throat irritation (maybe not just the common cold or allergies after all?), headaches, dizziness, nausea, damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Some VOCs are known to cause cancers in animals, while some are suspected to do the same in humans. The nature and extent of the health effects will depend on factors such as the level of exposure and the length of time exposed.

So, what’s the best way to reduce exposure to these VOCs imposing their way into your house?

  1. Use household products according to the manufacturer’s directions and never mix products unless directed on the label.
  2. Make sure you provide plenty of ventilation when using products that commonly emit VOCs.
  3. Throw away unused or little-used containers safely or simply buy in quantities that you will be able to use up soon.
  4. Keep out of reach of children and pets–the 2 creatures that will be most interested in something potentially harmful.
  5. Try to substitute products that are healthier for the environment and your breathing space.
  6. Invest in a good Air Purifier to suck these nasty toxins right up out of the air in your home or workspace. (I think I might know a place where you can find some good ones). 😉 Visit CleanAir4Life or call 888-411-0964 to find an Air Purifier that will be the best fit for your needs!

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Clean, Fresh Food = Happy Bellies

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