April 2, 2017
At Awair, we help you track the key factors that affect air quality: chemicals, dust, CO2, humidity, and temperature. The first on the list sounds a bit ambiguous--which “chemicals” are we even talking about? The chemicals in your air that we’re most interested in are commonly referred to as VOCs, and we have quite a bit to say about them...
VOCs aren’t one specific thing — VOC (volatile organic compound) is an umbrella term used to describe any organic chemical that evaporates easily at room temperature. Although VOC pollution is typically invisible, it can affect your health in a variety of ways.
A straightforward answer: any organic chemical that evaporates easily at room temperature is in the air you breathe. In fact, there’s a very high chance you’re breathing in VOCs right now.
VOCs can sometimes come in scary packages--like Formaldehyde, Benzene, and Acetone. While VOCs aren’t acutely toxic (they won’t poison and kill you in your sleep), there’s evidence that they cause a variety of health problems. Eczema flare-ups, allergies, asthma, and headaches have all been linked to VOCs. Long-term exposure to VOCs has also been known to contribute to organ damage and cancer.
It turns out there are many sources of VOCs in your home. VOCs are emitted by paint, cleaning supplies, common household products, building materials, furniture, and more. You may even be unintentionally increasing the number of VOCs in your air just by doing the things you love, like burning scented candles or buying your favorite products in bulk.
If it’s starting to sound like VOCs aren’t very regulated, you’re on the right track. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates VOCs in our drinking water and outdoor air, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates VOCs in the workplace. But, there is no government agency currently dedicated to protecting us from VOCs in non-industrial indoor air--our homes.
The truth is it’s impossible to completely eradicate VOCs from your home. But before you start panicking, let us help. There are plenty of quick fixes you can make to clean up the air in your home.
No need to throw out every VOC-emitting product in your house-- by adopting a few new habits you can easily live with safer air. Here are a few ideas:
To learn more about how Awair can help you keep a healthier home, follow the link below.
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