Volatile organic compounds, commonly known as VOCs, are chemicals which can pollute the air and lead to serious health issues like respiratory problems and organ damage. Unfortunately, VOCs are present in most homes and many families aren't even aware of it. VOCs can actually make indoor homes several times more polluted than the outdoors. If you're wondering how these toxic compounds get into your home (and how you can get them out), read on.
Do you enjoy sprucing up your home from time to time? While redecorating can improve the appearance of your atmosphere, it can worsen the air quality because VOCs are present in many of the materials used. Walls and flooring, in particular, are the most likely problem areas. If you need to repair cracks in walls or you're re-tiling an area, expect VOCs to enter your home in the caulks and sealants you use. If you're in the market for a new wall colour, the paint you use will contain VOCs unless it's organic. As for floors, many carpets contain volatile compounds because of fireproof coatings and adhesives used in making them. Even wooden furniture can contact VOCs if it's made of a composite wood like MDF and plywood.
There are two types of cleaning that introduce volatile compounds into your atmosphere: home cleaning and body cleaning. It will come as little surprise to most people that home cleaning products contain harmful chemicals. However, it's important to note that it's not just disinfectants that are a danger; even air fresheners, which smell clean and natural, can contain VOCs. Likewise, perfumes can be a source of VOCs too, and this includes perfumed products like shampoos, soaps and lotions. Deodorants and nail polish are two more body products that can also present a problem.
Do you ever do any work from home? Do you have children who do homework? Many common work-related items can pollute your indoor atmosphere. Printers and photocopiers, for example, release toner particles into the air when they heat up and print. Many glues, even some used by children, also contain VOCs, which is usually the reason for their strong odour. Even some types of paper contain volatile compounds.
On their own, none of these items present a serious health risk. However, when you have all of them in your home, as many people do, the risk increases significantly. While the best way to eliminate VOCs from the home is to get rid of all the sources of pollution, it's not practical for most families. Instead, many people find that air conditioning is the best tool against indoor air pollution. Air conditioning units filter harmful compounds out of the atmosphere, leaving the air more safe to breathe. If your AC isn't working efficiently, make sure you call out an air conditioner repair team ASAP to identify the problem and help your family stay safe.