VOCs are Toxins That Could Be Hiding in Your Home
They lurk in the basements and under the sinks of homes throughout the Northeast. They form naturally, but can make a person feel entirely unnatural. There is almost no way to avoid them, and all you can do to protect yourself from their noxious side effects is reduce your exposure.
They are volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, and they can make you sick. VOCs are gases emitted from thousands of products, many of which you likely have around your home—paint, lacquer, cleaning supplies, bug sprays and building materials. They form when the chemicals in the products you buy, store and use interact with one another to form a miasma of organic compounds. Once you spray a household cleaner or open a can of paint, the VOCs are released into the air and become toxic.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, VOCs can cause health problems ranging from runny noses and burning eyes to headaches, loss of coordination and even liver damage and problems with your central nervous system. Much like carbon monoxide, how bad your side effects are depends on the level of exposure and your own body’s ability to handle the fumes.
At the end of the day, any exposure to VOCs that makes you feel queasy or uneasy could have adverse effects, which is why it is so important to take steps to minimize your exposure. While no home can be entirely free of volatile organic compounds, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of becoming ill:
- Work hard to maintain a high level of indoor air quality.
- Follow the directions on the products’ labels.
- Throw away little-used and old products.
- Never mix products likely to emit the fumes.
- The fumes are a fact of life, but taking minimizing your exposure to them can improve the quality of your life.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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