What are VOCs and how does it affect you?

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VOC’s are a large group of chemicals that exist in everything from paint, cleaning products, cosmetics to smoking odors. There are over 10.000 different ordinary household products that contain VOCs. 

 

All VOCs have high vapor pressure, which means that they evaporate easily when in contact with air molecules. Paint, for example, evaporates VOCs directly when it’s put on a surface and can continue to do so for months depending on its chemical formula. The exact same process happens with, for example, cosmetica, cooking odors and cleaning products. All of these VOC transmitters contribute to the majority of our homes having 7 times more VOCs compared to the outside. 

 

The vast majority of us have experienced the short term consequences of VOCs in our life. These are: low energy levels, headaches, dizziness, itchy eyes, itchy nose and impaired mental focus. Whilst the long term effects are as dramatic as cancer, liver and kidney damage and it has also been associated with the development of dementia.  

 

So! How do we solve the problem of high VOC levels? 

 

We first of all recommend everyone who has experienced any of aboves consequences on a regular basis to consult with your doctor and decrease the products that contain VOCs in your home. It’s important to note that this is especially important for children, elderely, as well as those who have asthma and the people who are extra sensitive to irritation from VOCs.

 

But since home products that most people use on a daily basis, it’s incredibly hard (if not impossible) to remove all of them. This is why it’s insteadof extremely high importance to have exhaust fans where most VOCs are emitted so that they are continuesly ventilated out from your building. These should, due to the level of contaminants, be placed in your kitchen and bathroom, and there should moreover be a mechanical ventilation installed so that VOCs throughout the house constantly get removed. A very effective air purifier can also get the job done. You can however read about why we generally don’t recommend air purifiers as an all encompassing solution here.