Volatile Organic Compoundscommercial

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are chemicals that are emitted as gases from various liquids and solids. Tightly sealed, energy efficient homes prevent these gases from escaping to the outside. These gases tend to accumulate indoors to concentrations higher than that found outdoors. VOCs can cause short and long term health problems. AC&E Home Inspection Corp. can help determine what is going on in your home and building that is affecting your health.

Sources of VOCs in your home

VOCs are emitted from paint products (paints, lacquers, paint strippers, varnishes), cleaning supplies and disinfectants, degreasing products, pesticides, building materials and furnishings (carpeting, curtains, plywood), office equipment (copiers and printers), craft materials (glues and adhesives, permanent markers), moth repellents, air fresheners, dry-cleaned clothing, cosmetics, gasoline, fuel oil and cooking oils.

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These everyday products contain organic chemicals which release organic compounds while you are using them and potentially even when they are in storage. These polluting compounds can linger in the home long after the product has been used.

Volatile organic compounds cause irritation to the eyes, nose and throat and cause headaches, nausea, and damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system. Studies indicate that in people who have asthma, other respiratory conditions, or who are particularly sensitive to chemicals, exposure to VOCs may make symptoms worse. Some VOCs can cause cancer.

VOC testing

Within the complaint area of the home, a known quantity of air is drawn by a low volume pump and sent for analysis to an accredited laboratory. An Analytical Report is provided to you with the Total Volatile Organic Compound (TVOC) concentrations in nanograms per liter (ng/L) At the present time, the U.S. Government has not specified a TVOC limit for indoor air. However the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) and the European Union (EU) have recommended 500 ng/L as the upper TVOC limit. A contamination index report accompanies the analytical report and helps you with the identification of primary and secondary sources that are contributing to the reported TVOC levels. Corrective action may involve the removal of the offending products and materials and increasing indoor ventilation.