We tend to think of organic substances as something natural and healthy. That’s not the case with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The adjective “volatile” describes their potential for harm. These organic chemicals have an ultra-low boiling point that allows them to evaporate at ordinary room temperatures. When inhaled in high concentrations, the gases they emit can endanger your health. Unfortunately, thousands of everyday products discharge VOCs. Here are some of the most common.
What’s That Smell?
Whether it’s the aroma of dinner cooking on the stove or the fresh scent of flowers, most odors come from volatile organic compounds. These naturally produced scents pose little danger to human health. Products you buy at the store are another matter. If an item emits a strong smell or odor, it may contain known carcinogens like benzene or formaldehyde. The following are examples of everyday products that off-gas VOCs.
- Paints, varnishes, and stains
- Air fresheners and aerosol sprays
- Disinfectants and cleansers
- Pesticides and moth balls
- Personal care products
- Glues and adhesives
From carpeting and cabinets to furniture and flooring, products made with artificial materials emit VOCs more or less continuously into the environment. Proper ventilation helps keep your home healthy, but keeping your doors and windows open is rarely an option. Action Heating & Cooling, Inc. can help! As a Trane Comfort Specialist, we install whole-home ventilation systems that help expel harmful VOCs into the great outdoors.
Health Effects of VOCs
Volatile organic compounds can cause physical symptoms ranging from itchy eyes and a runny nose to dizziness and nausea. Prolonged exposure to highly toxic VOCs can damage the respiratory system, poison the liver, and even cause cancer.
At Action Heating & Cooling, Inc., we’re proud to provide indoor air quality solutions that help safeguard your health against VOCs in Spring City, TN. For more information, explore our indoor air quality services or call us today.