Question: What Causes High VOC Levels?

What is the largest source of VOCs?

Humans Identified as the Largest Source of Volatile Organic Chemicals in Indoor Air.

US researchers found that people and their possessions directly emitted 57% of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) they measured in the air of a university lecture theatre[1]..

What do VOCs do to the human body?

VOCs include a variety of chemicals that can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness and skin problems. Higher concentrations may cause irritation of the lungs, as well as damage to the liver, kidney, or central nervous system.

How do you clean air out of VOCs?

Keeping Your Air Clean of VOCsUse Natural Air Fresheners and Cleaners. Many commercial air fresheners and cleaning products, especially aerosols, are full of VOCs. … Add an Air Purifier. … Remove VOCs With Household Plants. … Dilute Contaminants With Ventilation. … Avoid Materials That Give Off VOCs.

What is the most common VOC?

10 Most Common VOCsAcetone. Found in: nail polish remover, furniture polish and wallpaper. … Butanal. Found in: emissions from barbecues, burning candles, stoves and cigarettes. … Carbon Disulfide. Found in: chlorinated tap water. … Dichlorobenzene. Found in: mothballs and deodorizers. … Ethanol. … Formaldehyde. … Terpenes.

What are VOCs and where do they come from?

VOCs typically are industrial solvents, such as trichloroethylene; fuel oxygenates, such as methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE); or by-products produced by chlorination in water treatment, such as chloroform. VOCs are often components of petroleum fuels, hydraulic fluids, paint thinners, and dry cleaning agents.

Does air purifier remove VOCs?

Electrostatic air purifiers capture particulates (solid particles and liquid droplets) by using an electrically charged screen or panel. However, they cannot remove gaseous molecules like VOCs, only larger particulates such as dander, dust and mold.

Why are VOCs bad for you?

VOCs Can Harm Health Breathing VOCs can irritate the eyes, nose and throat, can cause difficulty breathing and nausea, and can damage the central nervous system as well as other organs. Some VOCs can cause cancer.

What are VOCs in water?

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that both vaporize into air and dissolve in water. … Once released into groundwater, many VOCs are persistent and can migrate to drinking-water supply wells.

How long does off gassing last?

Chemical off-gas at different rates, but manufactured goods usually undergo their most noxious (and smelly) off-gassing for about a month after they’re produced. Still, some chemicals can emit VOCs for years. Carpeting, in particular, can off-gas for up to five years.

What is a high VOC level?

Acceptable VOC levels in the air for human health Acceptable levels of TVOC ranges from 0.3 to 0.5 mg/m3 of concentration. From 0.5 mg/m3 of TVOC concentration level onwards the concern is considered to be considerable or high.

How can I lower my VOC levels?

Ventilation and Climate Control: Increasing the amount of fresh air in your home will help reduce the concentration of VOCs indoors.Increase ventilation by opening doors and windows. … Keep both the temperature and relative humidity as low as possible or comfortable.More items…

How do you test VOC levels?

One method for measuring VOCs is using a photoionization detector (PID). This is a screening tool that approximates the total volatile organic compound levels.

How long does it take for VOC to dissipate?

The VOCs emanating from a product dissipate over time as the chemicals vaporize. VOCs from paint dissipate fairly quickly with most offgassing occuring during the first 6 months after application. Other sources, such as particle board may continue to offgas for 20 years or more.

How can I test the air quality in my home?

How to Test The Air Quality in Your HomePurchase an indoor air quality monitor.Test for mold in the air.Install carbon monoxide alarms.Conduct a radon test.

Why do VOCs go up at night?

Exposure to high levels of VOCs can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, and for some compounds, even cancer. During sleep, people likely inhale more VOCs because of poor bedroom ventilation and the close proximity of their nose and mouth to mattresses and bedding that emit the compounds.

What absorbs VOCs?

The VOC-absorbing PlantsThe Areca Palm. Also known as the “butterfly palm,” this plant has been found to remove more xylene and toluene from the air than any other plant. … Bamboo Palm. … Rubber Plant. … Dracaena “Janet Craig” … Peace Lily.

How do you deal with VOCs?

How can I help reduce emission of VOCs to the air?Avoid using aerosol consumer products such as hairsprays, air fresheners, deodorants, and insecticides that often use VOCs as their propellants. … Replace solvent-based paints with water-based paints. … Avoid using VOC-containing products such as organic cleaning solvents.More items…•

Are VOCs toxic?

Some VOCs are dangerous to human health or cause harm to the environment. … Harmful VOCs typically are not acutely toxic, but have compounding long-term health effects. Because the concentrations are usually low and the symptoms slow to develop, research into VOCs and their effects is difficult.