Reduce Health Risks at Home and Work by Reducing VOC Levels

Many people may hear the acronym, VOC, in a variety of contexts. They may not be aware, however, that it stands for “volatile organic compounds.” According to the Environmental Protection Agency, these compounds arise from a variety of sources, which includes chemical solvents. Since VOCs can create various health issues for anyone with chemical sensitivities, asthma, and other types of lung conditions or diseases, it’s important to eliminate them from the home and work environment.

When someone is aware that they or someone in their household or workplace has chemical sensitivities, answering the question, “What is a VOC?” can lead to creating healthier environments. CBC Marketplace released a recent report on the subject of chemical sensitivities. The results showed that when VOC levels were over 500 parts per billion, that this could lead or otherwise contribute to someone experiencing a variety of health issues and problems.

A home or office’s flooring may contribute to high VOC levels as well. When this flooring is over a year old, however, a large percentage of the VOCs will have dissipated. If a homeowner or building manager is planning to paint the existing floor or have new flooring installed, it’s a good idea to use organic products and low VOC paint or VOC-free paint. The same applies to picking out paint, stains, and clear varnish for walls and furniture.

The results of a recent study may also be of interest. Over the course of six full work days, the participants performed their jobs within an environmentally-controlled office space. This study took place at the TIEQ lab at the Syracuse Center of Excellence, where the VOC levels were reduced to roughly 50 micrograms per cubic meter with 40 cubic feet per minute of outdoor air per person. According to the results, these individuals tended to have higher cognitive scores than their counterparts in non-controlled office spaces. On average, the workers in the environmentally-controlled workspaces scored 101% higher, which is notable.

Since you may still want to have more information in response to the question, “What is a VOC?” there are a variety of resources available. Whether you’re planning to upgrade your home or office interiors, it’s important to learn more about why it’s important to avoid VOCs. Even if no one in your household or workplace has known chemical sensitivities or lung conditions and diseases, avoiding these substances can make a difference in their overall health. Find more.

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