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How Volatile Organic Compounds Affect Health

How Volatile Organic Compounds Affect Health

Volatile Organic Compounds are chemicals that include carbon, and which have a relatively low boiling point which means that they are gases at room temperature. VOCs including chemicals such as formaldehyde are often used as solvents and as such can be found in many household products including cleaning and decorating supplies.

Where do VOCs come from?

Volatile Organic Compounds are released from a variety of sources in the home and can become trapped in the air:

What are the health effects of VOCs?

The health effects of high levels of VOCs in your home can range from mild to serious. You may have experienced headaches after painting or irritation in your throat when using some cleaning products. These symptoms can be painful and affect you in the short term, but even at lower concentrations, the same effects are present.

Many of the short-term symptoms of VOC exposure are an indication of the longer-term health effects. VOCs can damage your kidneys, lungs, liver, and central nervous system making you more prone to illness and lose co-ordination and concentration.

Improving the air quality in your home can help reduce your exposure to VOCs and protect your health.

How you can reduce VOC pollution in your home

The most effective way of reducing the concentrations of VOCs in your home is by improving the ventilation. Ventilation systems work by removing stale air from the home so that it can be replaced by fresh air from outside and can work in different ways.

Extractor fans and whole house Mechanical Extract Ventilation (MEV) systems expel the air from the property through fans. Standalone extractor fans are normally installed in your kitchen, bathroom, utility room, and WC where they are used to remove humid air and prevent condensation and damp from forming. MEV systems are a whole house solution that draws air from multiple rooms. MEV systems are often installed in newer properties during construction or a full refurbishment and can include heat recovery features which makes them highly efficient.

Positive Input Ventilation Systems (PIV) work by drawing air into the property through a central unit mounted in your loft. This incoming air is filtered to remove particulate pollution and allergens such as pollen before being dispersed into other rooms in the home. This displaces the stale indoor air with higher concentrations of VOCs and improves your air quality.

Find out more

If you are concerned about the effects of volatile organic compounds on your health and that of your family, improving the quality of air inside your home should be a priority. Enter your postcode below to book a free home survey from one of our local ventilation specialists. They can visit your property and advise you about the best solution for your needs.

Need help with condensation, mould or damp problems?

One of our local experts will contact you to learn more about your problems, offer free expert advice and make recommendations for a permanent solution.

During the free survey we will

  • check Assess any condensation, damp or mould problems in your property
  • check Take readings of the relative humidity levels
  • check Identify any underlying problems and make recommendations for a permanent solution

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