Mold Testing & Inspection in Houston, TX

Volatile Organic Compounds in Your Home

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be released or off gassed from various building materials, home products, and activities occurring inside a home.

Examples of these are as follows:

  • Carpets
  • Adhesives and glues
  • Paints
  • Solvents
  • Caulks
  • Varnishes
  • Vinyl flooring
  • Particle board wood products
  • Cleaning and disinfecting products
  • Air fresheners
  • Gasoline
  • Vehicle exhaust
  • Cooking products such as oils
  • Dry cleaning
  • Smoking
  • Wood burning stoves
  • Gas burning space heaters
  • Inks

Harmful VOCs typically are not acutely toxic but have long term effects.  Symptoms are slow to develop.  Some short term health issues are as follows:

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Headaches
  • Allergies type symptoms
  • May kick off an asthma attack or symptoms
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of coordination

Long term health effects may possibly be as follows:

  • Some VOCs can cause Cancer
  • Liver issues
  • Kidney issues
  • Central nervous system issues

Levels in a home depend on the amount and use of various products that contain VOCs.  VOCs are carbon based chemicals that easily evaporate into the environment.  Example you may end up painting with a high VOC paint which could easily elevate the indoor environment that you are breathing.  Keep in mind also that these VOCs can affect not only you but your household pets as well.  Lots of factors are involved in indoor air concentrations of VOCs.  The amount of VOCs in the product you are using, the ventilation within the room you are using the product, air exchanges within the room, and the rate of which the VOCs are released from the product you are using.  Odors of the VOCs can be detected typically at higher levels.  Some of the common VOCs are in chemicals such as perchloroethylene, methylene chloride, acetone, benzene, toluene, xylene, and formaldehyde. 

You can reduce the levels of VOCs in your home by purchasing products that have low VOCs in them.  When using the product, have plenty of fresh air in the room.  Open doors and windows during VOCs use to allow the fresh air in and the VOCs out.  Properly dispose of unused products that have VOCs.  Keep all lids or tops on the products that contain VOCs tight and sealed.

If you have further questions or would like to set up an inspection or testing, please contact Robert J Reda & Associates LLC. 

Robert J Reda CIH, CSP, MAC
Robert J Reda & Associates LLC
Providing professional consulting services in Safety, Industrial Hygiene, and Environmental

Texas Department of Health Services Licensed Mold Assessment Consultant