VOC’s: Do They Matter?

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are gases emitted from certain solids and liquids. These are emitted even by typical household products, such as paint/coatings, paint strippers, wood preservatives, aerosol sprays, cleansers and disinfectants, insect repellents, air fresheners, stored fuels. These are also released by automotive products, hobby supplies and even dry-cleaned clothing.

VOC is emitted from several items we use regularly, so why should we be concerned by the amount of VOCs we are exposed to? Simply put, research shows that some VOCs can cause chronic and acute health effects at high concentrations, and some are known carcinogens. Even low to moderate levels of VOCs may produce acute reactions in some individuals. Some of the immediate symptoms are visual disorders, memory impairment, respiratory tract irritation, headaches, and dizziness. They can also damage the liver, kidney and central nervous system.

Studies also found that indoor levels of organics are 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor levels. Certain activities like painting can raise that to 1000 times higher!

Investigative research also found that children subjected to high doses of VOCs are more likely to develop asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema. The elderly are also more susceptible to the negative effects. There are studies showing impaired pulmonary function through enhancing oxidative stress.

Sick Building Syndrome

High VOCs can contribute to "Sick building syndrome" (SBS), which is a broad term used to describe industrial, commercial and residential buildings that have environmental hazards that can lead to "building related illness” (BRI).  BRI is sometimes caused by exposure to hazardous obsolete building materials, such as asbestos and lead-based paint.  Other hazards are radon, mold, mildew and products with high Volatile Organic Content (VOCs).

What can we do? Minimize exposure through proper ventilation and using low to zero VOC products. Always consider the amount of VOCs whenever using any products, especially for painting indoors.

GLOBAL Encasement, Inc.'s green and environmentally advanced products have the lowest VOCs on the market. Their toxicological reports issued through independent, accredited laboratories state that their products are so clean even children and pregnant women can be in the room while they are being applied.

Is your building in need of protective, defensive coatings? Give us a call at (800) 266-3982 or send us an email at service@encasement.com.

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