Volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) are compounds emitted into the air from certain processes or products. Some of these carbon-containing organic chemicals are natural while some are synthetic. Concentrations of VOC’s are much higher indoors compared to outside according to the EPA. Released through a process called off-gassing, VOC levels typically reduce over time. Their cousins, SVOCs (semi-volatile organic compounds) are odorless and build up over time as they are released. Both can make your family sick here in Springfield, VA. Here are three important facts you need to know about VOC’s.

1. Where Do You Find VOC’s?

VOCs stem from many sources. Most people are familiar with glues, paint strippers, new carpet, and fuel products being sources of VOCs. However, every-day products such as aerosol sprays, hobby supplies, air fresheners, nail polish remover, and cleaning supplies are also sources.

2. What Are the Symptoms of VOCs?

Not all VOC’s are bad, but most are. Some cause more harm than others. The effect of VOCs on your health relates to the length and level of exposure. Short-term exposure can worsen allergies and asthma, as well as causing nausea, headaches, dizziness, and other symptoms. Long-term exposure can cause heart disease, respiratory illnesses, and even cancer. Extended exposure to VOC’s has also been linked to damage to the central nervous system and other organs.

3. What Can I Do About VOCs?

The best thing you can do to minimize the effects of VOC’s is to ensure that your Fairfax home or business has adequate ventilation. A steady supply of fresh air has two effects on VOCs: it dilutes them and it removes them from your indoor air. A ventilator can help ensure a healthy airflow.

If you think better ventilation will improve your indoor air, check out the selection of ventilators we offer at Commonwealth Cooling & Heating or call (703) 436-8028.

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