People often think of VOCs as a marketing or premium pricing tactic, but they’re also a serious health concern. The term “VOC” stands for volatile organic compounds. It refers to the chemicals that are released into the air from products like paint, varnishes, adhesives, and cabinetry. These compounds can cause short-term health effects such as eye irritation, headaches, nausea, and respiratory problems when people are exposed to them in large quantities. But what about long-term exposure?
Products don’t usually include VOCs on their label. So new homeowners have no idea how to avoid them before moving in. Commercial tenants also can’t identify which materials are causing problems for their employees.
VOC and You
An EPA study found that indoor air quality affects more than 60 million people every year – about 40% of Americans! In many cases, these health issues are linked to household products containing VOCs from solvents or glues used during manufacture. That means long-term exposure may lead to chronic conditions like asthma symptoms, headaches, eye irritation, respiratory problems, and nausea.
More and more people gravitate toward sustainable building practices. However, they are overlooking this potential hazard. In some cases, the effects of VOCs can linger for months or even years. This is because compounds build up in closed, indoor spaces where people typically spend lots of time as they work and live there on a regular basis.
How Long the Effects of VOCs Linger in New Construction?
VOCs cause short-term effects to people exposed to them in small doses. As mentioned earlier, long-term exposure can cause chronic conditions. In closed, indoor spaces such as new homes and commercial buildings, these compounds build up over time due to lower air circulation. This means that a person might be fine for an hour or two after initial contact with a material containing VOCs. However, they could develop serious health problems down the line from continued exposure to those materials!
This is why it’s important not only to provide safe working environments for employees but also healthier living spaces for homeowners – who may have children running around their home all day long without any idea how dangerous it is.
How to Avoid Exposure
People should be able to walk into their homes without having an asthma attack or headaches from exposure to harmful chemicals like those found in new furniture and cabinetry. Think about the materials when choosing your next home project before it’s too late!
Is There an Alternative?
Consumers can avoid VOC-related problems by only purchasing items not painted or stained with chemical compounds. We provide an older, rustic wooden look without chemicals for a more affordable price than anyone else on the market.