mr natural® environmental engineer can test for and help eliminate VOCs quickly, naturally and permanently.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are gases or vapours emitted by various solids or liquids, many of which have short-term and long-term adverse health effects. Consequently, concentrations of many VOCs are higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors and compounded by the fact we spend an average of 90% of our time indoors.
That new car smell is actually a cocktail of chemicals such as Formaldehyde and many other toxic compounds
Household products that emit VOCs include but not limited to:
- paint and strippers
- cleaning supplies
- glues and adhesives
- building materials
- plastics and composites
The United States Environmental Protection Agency EPA has found concentrations of VOCs in indoor air commonly to be 2 to 5 times greater than in outdoor air and sometimes far greater. During certain activities, indoor levels of VOCs may reach 1,000 of times that of the outside air. Studies show new buildings contribute to the highest level of VOC off-gassing because of the abundant new materials generating VOC particles. Many consumer products such as cleaners emit extremely high VOC compounds whilst their effectiveness reduces quickly. The intense vapours from those cleaning agents you smell and feel should have remain on surfaces performing their intended results instead of poisoning the lungs.
Relative humidity within an indoor environment can also affect the emissions of VOCs and formaldehyde. IHigh relative humidity and high temperature allow more vaporization of formaldehyde from wood-materials and thus, can induce symptoms of sensory irritation in the eyes.
Office equipment, such laser printers can emit ultrafine aerosol particles, which can contribute to ozone emission in an indoor environment. There are also some chemically active VOCs, such as styrene and limonene that can react with nitrogen oxides or with ozone to produce new oxidation products and secondary aerosols, which can cause sensory irritation symptoms. Although ozone is beneficial in the upper atmosphere because it absorbs UV thus protecting humans, plants, and animals from exposure to dangerous solar radiation, it poses a health threat in the lower atmosphere by causing respiratory problems. In addition, indoor ozone sources also include air-freshening devices and air-purifiers as well as large copy and printing machines. These devices can increase indoor ozone level up to 450+ ppb, which can induce asthmatic symptoms or increase allergic sensitization in individuals.
Natural Solutions for VOCs
VOC’s are also found extensively in industrial facilities (off gasses) and waste water treatment facilities. Hydroxyl generators can effectively remove all traces of VOC’s which can appear in many different forms (gases, liquid etc.). The hydroxyls literally attack each individual molecule that has been created by the source that usually shows up in a gas form whether it is in a new home, gas plant, sewage plant or any other workplace. The exhausted air from the unit not only supplies the hydroxyls to clean the ambient air but will be VOC free itself, even though it is drawing in VOC contaminated air.
VOCs and Their Sources
A list of some of the most common VOCs and their sources follows.
|1,1,1-trichloroethane||Ink, Paint, Photo-resist, Photographic film|
|(2-methylcyclohexyl) propanedinitrile||Human metabolism|
|Acetaldehyde||Disinfectants, Adhesives, Coatings, Plastics, Lubricants, Ripening of fruit|
|Acetic acid esters||Surface cleaners|
|Acetone||Polyester resins, Vinyl, Adhesives, Human metabolism|
|bis-(1,1-dimethylethyl) nitroxide||Human metabolism|
|Benzene||Plastics, Building materials, Furniture, Office equipment|
|Butyl acetate||Surface cleaners|
|C6 – C10 substituted alkanes||Cleaners, Polishers|
|Carbon Monoxide||Automobile exhaust, Fuel based heating, Cooking appliances, Smoking|
|Decanal||Artificial flavors, Perfume, Human metabolism|
|Dipropylene glycol||Surface cleaners|
|Ethanol||Disinfectants, Human metabolism|
|Ethyl Alcohol||Cosmetics, Cleaners, Disinfectants, Detergents, Paints, Human Metabolism|
|Eucalyptol||Cosmetics, Artificial flavors, Insecticides|
|Isoprene||Synthetic rubber, Human metabolism|
|Limonene||Cosmetics, Cleaners, Artificial flavors, Prescription drugs|
|Methane||Natural gas, Human metabolism|
|Methylethylketone||Adhesives, coatings, Plastics, Lubricants|
|Methyl methacrylate||Hard surface cleaners|
|Nonanal||Artificial flavors, Perfume, Human metabolism|
|Pentane||Polystyrene foam, Refrigerants|
|Phenol||Platics, Cosmetics, Disinfectants|
|Pinene||Perfume, Human metabolism|
|Propane||Fuel based heating, Cooking appliances, Cleaners|
|Toluene||Paints, Coatings, Cleaners, Detergents, Smoking, Polyurethane lacquers|
|r (1-methylethyl) cyclopropane||Adhesives, Coatings, Plastics, Lubricants|
|Xylene||Plastics, Synthetic Rubber, Polyester clothing|