Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a serious contributor to indoor air quality problems. Culprits range from common household cleaning products and living room furniture to stored fuels in the garage. Many people unknowingly pollute the air in their Mims, FL homes with chemicals that harm their health. Here’s a quick overview of what these dangerous pollutants are, where they come from, and how they affect our bodies:
What creates VOCs?
The chemical element carbon easily chains with other carbon atoms to produce harmful reactions. These carbon compounds are organic and often evaporate under normal indoor temperatures. However, they also emit toxic gases that damage air quality. Industry studies show that confined spaces such as our energy-efficient homes and attached garages can contain up to 10 times higher concentrations than outdoor spaces. Typically, these chemicals are released when you are using a product but they can also leak out while being stored.
What products contain VOCs?
VOCs are in nearly every product that you encounter. They are present in thousands of ordinary paints, cosmetics, disinfectants, preservatives, and air fresheners. Each time you pick up the dry cleaning, use a permanent marker, or sit on the couch you are breathing in these vapors. According to the EPA, the majority are found in solids, liquids, or surfaces. These include dust, furnishings, and building materials. Degreasers, gasoline, varnishes, cleaning products, and pesticides produce more harmful VOCs.
How do VOCs affect my health?
On their own, VOCs can wreak havoc on your kidneys, liver, lungs and central nervous system. Health conditions worsen when other particulate matter from bacteria, dust mites, and viruses saturate the indoor air. Symptoms range from mild sinus irritations, headaches, and fatigue to dizziness, allergic skin reactions, and memory impairment.
Assurance Aire specializes in making homes safer and more comfortable along Florida’s Space Coast. Contact our HVAC professionals at (321) 339-0634 to discuss your indoor air quality or learn more about managing indoor pollutants with ventilators, air cleaners, or in-duct air purifiers.