The Damage of VOCs on Health and Furniture

What are VOCs?

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are obtained from the gases of liquid and solids and are most commonly derived from non-organic cleaning products. However, VOCs can be emitted from countless other products and materials, and more awareness on this issue is very important.

A VOC is defined as a commonly and synthetically occurring chemical that dissolves and releases molecules into the atmosphere. This evaporation most commonly occurs from petroleum fuels, paint thinners, hydraulic fluids, and cleaning products. These compounds have damaging health effects that can damage the eye, nose, throat, head, kidney, liver, nervous system, and much more. In fact, many VOCs have been shown to cause cancer in humans due to their high carcinogenic rate—making it a hot issue for people to analyze with their cleaning products.

Trying to eliminate the presence of pathogens is largely what’s led to the development of chemical cleaning disinfectants and cleaning products that are often linked to adverse health effects via VOC emission. Although not every cleaning product has a negative health effect attached to it, many can be carcinogenic and cause other unwanted reactions. It’s more important than ever for consumers to select products that don’t pose a health risk to the user but still do an excellent job at eliminating pathogens. 

Sources of VOCs

VOCs tend to stay in high concentrations in the air long after the activity emitting the VOC is done. There are also numerous examples of how they are emitted, causing many people to worry they’re creating a substantial VOC level in their homes. Below are a few common sources of these compounds:

  • Paint and Similar Products
  • Wood Preservatives
  • Some Disinfectants
  • Air Fresheners
  • Bug Repellants
  • Dry-Cleaned Clothing
  • Glues
  • Adhesives
  • Permanent Markers
  • Photographic Solutions
  • Pesticide
  • Building Materials and Furnishing
  • Copiers and Printers
  • Correction Fluids
  • Carbonless Copy Paper
  • Fuel and Automotive Products
  • Hobby Supplies

Health Effects

If VOCs didn’t cause any negative harm to the human body and the planet, there wouldn’t be any cause of concern. But since they cause such a long list of negative health effects to people, it’s become an ever-growing topic for people to determine how they can lower their risk. Below are a few common health effects.

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Eye, Nose, and Throat Irritation
  • Liver Damage
  • Kidney Damage
  • Central Nervous System Issues
  • Cancer
  • Allergic Skin Reaction
  • Emesis
  • Epistaxis
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Dyspnea
  • Declines in Serum Cholinesterase Levels

Effects on Furniture

Many chemicals that are used as ingredients in household products tend to emit VOCs without many people realizing. The VOC issues from household products can significantly influence the air quality leading to increased allergies, headaches, skin reactions, and much more. Newer lower-end furniture tends to emit VOCs the most. Common furniture that emits VOCs include:

  • Mattresses
  • Couches
  • Chairs
  • Carpet
  • Fridge

Certain disinfectants can help eliminate VOCs from being emitted from products, but that largely depends on whether the disinfectant emits any VOCs. Air purifiers are also a common way to help eliminate VOCs from the air, especially from new pieces of furniture.

Restaurant Industry and VOCs

Many areas of the restaurant industry, such as evaporation, cooking, clean-up, disinfection, and other steps, lead to the causation of VOCs in the air. The primary room for concern with VOCs in the restaurant industry involves toxicity, odors, and air pollution. Causes of restaurant VOCs are below:

  • Cleaning
  • Food Spoilage
  • Food Ripening
  • Fermentation
  • Cooking

Steps to Mitigate
VOC Risk

With the knowledge of VOC, many people can take steps to ensure their lowering the risk of VOCs on their health. Although it’s practically impossible for anyone to avoid VOCs given the industrialization of most significant towns, there are methods to help them along:

  • Lower Use Of Products That Emit VOCs

Not every cleaning product or other products emit VOCs as some of their counterparts do. Many companies understand the danger of VOCs and have developed variations that do an equally good job without releasing VOCs.

  • Follow Product Instructions Carefully

VOCs tend to build up indoors when the person causing the VOC doesn’t ventilate or follow instructions close enough. It’s imperative for users to read the required instructions for any product they use to help avoid unwanted residue and bacteria.

Where You Can Purchase Disinfectant Wipes and Cleaner

The Voran Group manufactures and distributes innovative health, hygiene, and wellness products. Their products are easy to use and eliminate 99.99% of bacteria, viruses, and fungi while creating a hygienic surface without emitting VOCs.