The World Is Full of Dangerous Chemicals and VOCs: Here’s How to Protect Your Health
Let’s face it – we live in a world full of chemicals. From cleaning products to paints to furniture and carpeting, volatile organic compounds (or VOCs) permeate the air we breathe, and many endanger our health. RTK presents a multi-part series on VOCs effect on indoor air quality so you can take steps to lessen the effect of VOCs in your everyday life.
What Are VOCs?
VOCs are toxic vapors that are off gassed from synthetic materials and everyday items. VOCs cause poor indoor air quality, commonly referred to as “indoor air pollution.” VOCs can be extremely dangerous to health, especially those compounds that have toxic elements.
Cancer & VOCs
Cancer is on the rise, and one of the causes is right before our eyes. Most new, manufactured products contain VOCs, many of which contain known toxic carcinogens. They have been proven to cause cancer, yet manufacturers still use VOCs because of their cost-effectiveness in the manufacturing process.
Where are VOCs found?
- Composite wood products, like furniture and cabinets
- Bedding and pillows
- Copiers, printers, and toners
- Cosmetics and toiletries
- Vinyl, such as shower curtains or tile
- Sealing caulk
- Certain scented candles
- Cleaning and disinfecting chemicals
- Air fresheners
- Moth balls
- Dry cleaning and laundry detergents
- Wood burning stoves
- Yes, even that new car smell!
VOCs and Your Health
Whether we are exposed to VOCs for an extended or brief period they can still affect our health. The key is recognizing symptoms of exposure and finding the culprit(s).
Common Symptoms of VOC Exposure Include:
- Brain Fog
- Fatigue and listlessness
- Difficulty concentrating
Long-Term Effects of VOC Exposure Include:
- Kidney damage
- Liver damage
- Central Nervous System damage
There are steps you can take to minimize VOCs in your home. RTK will tell you how throughout this multi-part series. If you are concerned about VOCs in your home or workplace, contact RTK for testing and more information at 800.392.6468 or click here.
Part 2: VOCs and Clothing