What Are VOCs And Why Are They Bad For My Richmond Area Home Or Commercial Property?



On May, 23, 2017


Richmond VOCsThe term VOCs stands for volatile organic compound, which are harmful chemicals that get released into the air and can make you sick. These compounds have a high vapor pressure and low water solubility which means they change easily from a liquid form into a vapor that freely floats through your air and won’t easily dissolve in water.

Volatile organic compounds are carbon based and will easily evaporate at room temperature. Paint fumes are a fine example of VOCs that are harmful when you breathe them. The fumes released with paint aren’t easy for our bodies to process, which is one reason you can get sick from them.

Vapors or Gases (VOCs) That Are Harmful*

  • Methane
  • Propane
  • Butane
  • Mineral Spirits
  • Gasoline
  • Other Fuels
  • Many, many building materials
  • Drywall
  • Paint
  • Carpeting
  • Paint strippers
  • Indoor Furnishings
  • Upholstery
  • Fabrics
  • Bedding
  • Cleaning products
  • Personal Care products

The Truth About Your Indoor Air

Many chemicals are produced in your air which get released from products as they are used or evaporate at room temperatures. These organic, carbon based chemicals are harmful to your health. You could have any number of hundreds of VOCs in your indoor air at any one time.

VOCs don’t always produce odors, and some will at very low levels, which can make it extremely difficult to tell if they are in your air. With no noticeable smell, they can infiltrate your lungs, your food, and other materials without being detected.**

Common Signs Of VOC Exposure Symptoms

  • Headaches
  • Eye Irritation
  • Sinus Irritation
  • Throat Irritation
  • Dizziness
  • Chronic Diseases
  • Cancer
  • Toxic Levels In Bloodstream


Since you live indoors, you’re likely exposed to VOCs coming from your building materials, cleaning supplies, consumer products, printing, cooking, cleaning, renovations, pesticides, hobbies, and indoor furnishings.

If you work in an office or place such as a school, you could be exposed to harmful VOCs such as Vinyl chloride, Methylene, Chloride, Styrene, Isopentane, Formaldehyde, and more. There are ways to remove the VOCs in your indoor air. Within the HVAC field, technicians can use UV light to effectively sterilize the harmful substances that could make you sick if toxic levels are reached.

What Can I Do About VOCs?

You can contact your local HVAC company trained in the application and installation of VOC sterilization and filtration for your home or commercial property. Be sure to call local professionals who are fully experienced at handling indoor air quality techniques. Clean Air Technologies specializes in many types of indoor air quality applications including UV Filtration which is very effective at sterilizing your indoor air.

*Sources: http://www.aqt.it/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=71&Itemid=107
** http://greenguard.org/en/indoorAirQuality/iaq_chemicals.aspx

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To learn more about VOCs and how to test and treat your indoor air quality, call your local greater Richmond area professionals at Clean Air Technologies, 804-608-1050 or complete our online request form.