Cutting back Exposure to VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds)

VOC’s are gases emitted from solid and liquids which include a variety of chemicals. These chemicals have been recognized to have both short and long term adverse health effects. When emitted indoors, concentrations may increase and cause a health risk for you and your loved ones. One of our specialties at HNST Mold Inspections, is to test air quality for levels of VOC’s.  We see high levels in homes where everyday products like paints, paint strippers, solvents, aerosol sprays, cleansers, and air fresheners are used.

Follow these tips to reduce your exposure to smog:

  1. Follow the directions on the label. If the product says to use it in a well-ventilated area then get outside! Unless you have an exhaust fan and plenty of open windows, use of these products can cause VOC build up in the air.
  2. Don’t hang on to old partially full containers. These gases can leak from even closed containers! Contact your local government agency to find out when and where toxic household wastes can be disposed of.
  3. Buy only what you absolutely need. Although many want to purchase in bulk for things they know they’ll use year after year like paint, paint stripper, gasoline and kerosene, these things should only be purchased in limited quantities. Exposure to these products can happen even when the container is sealed. These products carry the compound methylene chloride which has been recognized to induce cancer in animals. This compound is also converted to carbon monoxide in the body and we know that toxic substance is no good.
  4. Avoid exposure to environmental toxins like benzene. Benzene is a carcinogenic product found in tobacco smoke, paint supplies and car emissions. To trim down on the exposure, smoke outside, provide a great deal of ventilation in attached garages and run a fan when painting.
  5. Avoid Dry-Cleaning. Some Dry Cleaners use a compound called perchloroethylene, which has been recognized to cause cancer to animals in studies. Low grades of this chemical have been found in homes where dry-cleaned clothes are stacked away. Minimize your exposure by removing the plastic immediately and allowing to hang in a ventilated area.

Now you are prepared to reduce your exposure to VOC’s in your home. Use these easy tips to put yourself at the lowest risk for inhaling these harmful compounds and to keep your family healthy and safe!

HNST Mold Inspections checks for VOC’s and performs other mold testing services in the New York and New Jersey Tristate area. If you are in this area and would like your home tested contact us today!

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