VOC Resource Guide
What is a Volatile Organic Compound, or VOC?
If you’ve been feeling sick without explanation or without a known cause, have your indoor air tested for VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Here’s why:
VOCs are toxic vapors that are off-gassed from man-made materials, and everyday household (and workplace) items. VOCs cause poor indoor air quality, commonly referred to as “indoor air pollution.” Did you know that the air indoors can be up to 100 times more polluted than the air outside? VOCs can be very dangerous to your health and can be toxic.
Where are VOCs found?
- New carpeting
- Composite wood products, like furniture and cabinets
- Bedding and pillows
- Copiers and printers
- Cosmetics and toiletries
- Vinyl, such as shower curtains or tile
- Sealing caulk
- Scented candles
- Cleaning and disinfecting chemicals
- Air fresheners
- Moth balls
- Dry cleaning and laundry detergents
- Wood burning stoves
- Yes, even that new car smell!
The Latest Research
A study released in September 2015 by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center confirmed what many had suspected: Air pollution is linked to an increase in premature death from heart disease and other related illnesses. Another study released the same month by the journal Nature, showed that globally, air pollution is responsible for more than 3 million premature deaths each year, and that the number is increasing. Read about the study here.
That is all the more reason to make sure the air inside is not harboring these toxins, or the harmful VOCs that are produced from everyday items indoors.
What are the common symptoms of VOC Exposure?
- Fatigue and listlessness
- Difficulty concentrating
What are the effects of long-term exposure to VOCs?
- Kidney damage
- Liver damage
- Central Nervous System damage
What are the most common VOCs?