Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemical compounds found in many Tampa, Florida, homes. They turn into vapors or gasses at room temperature. Although most VOCs are inhaled, they can also be absorbed through the skin. Some compounds have a scent, but most are odorless. VOCs’ concentration is thought to be 10 times higher indoors than outdoors, negatively affecting your indoor air quality.
Volatile Organic Compounds Linger in the Air
The biggest concern with these chemical compounds is that they release fumes for months at a time or longer. Vapors are released when VOCs are being used and while they’re being stored. The release of fumes cannot be stopped. It has to run its course. Elevated indoor VOC levels have a negative effect on indoor air quality and on human health.
VOCs Are Found in Many Household Products
Organic compounds can be found in wax, cosmetics, carpeting, pressed wood, fuels, cleaning agents and plastic. They’re also present in upholstery, disinfecting agents, second-hand smoke, tile flooring, pesticides, air fresheners, deodorants and adhesives. All of these products contain solvents that continually emit harmful vapors and fumes that we inhale every day.
Volatile Organic Compounds Can Adversely Affect Human Health
VOCs have short-term and long-term health effects. Low concentrations can cause nausea, headache, fatigue, irritations of the skin, throat and eyes, shortness of breath and dizziness. Those with asthma may be more sensitive to the effects. In higher concentrations, VOCs can irritate the lungs and damage the kidneys, liver and central nervous system. Damage is most likely to occur with long-term exposure. Some VOCs have even been shown to cause cancer. The longer the exposure to these solvents and the higher their concentration, the more serious the adverse health effects will be.