Represent a large variety of chemicals that exist as a gas or can easily off gas under normal room temperatures. Some major sources include Photocopying materials, paints, gasoline, refrigerants, personal hygiene and cosmetics products, building materials, disinfectants and pesticides. Most VOCs are generally present in very low quantities in the indoor environment. Symptoms attributable in human response to VOC’s are often similar to those from other indoor contaminants such as particulate and biocontaminants. Many people living with chemical contaminants become use to the odors and are unable to detect that they are living in a compromised environment.
What are VOCs?
VOCs are chemicals that are emitted as gases from solids or liquids and easily evaporated into the air at room temperature. Concentrations of these chemicals can be up to 100 times higher indoors than outdoors. Thousands of products, many that we use or are exposed to every day, emit VOCs into the air while they are being used, and even when they are stored. All VOCs have the potential to be harmful, and there are even a few common VOCs that can be particularly dangerous to our health. Symptoms such as frequent headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, coughing, wheezing, and eye, nose and throat irritation can be indicators that the quality of air in your home is poor – especially if these symptoms subside once you leave the house. Other more serious health problems that can arise with poor indoor air quality are asthma exacerbation, digestive problems, and damage to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system. Some air contaminants are so harmful that they can even cause cancer.