Indoor Chemical Emissions
Indoor chemical emissions are air pollutants that are released through the use of a wide variety of products in the home. Some are brought into the home by the occupants like furnishings, personal care products and electronic equipment. Others may be released by pest control products, cleaning and maintenance services. Yet others may be released from building products and finishes used in construction or renovation.
These gases are generally referred to as volatile organic compounds ( VOC’s ). They are called volatile because they off gas at room temperatures and organic because they are carbon based. These gases rarely pose much of a threat on their own, but when combined with the many other chemicals in the air they form a soup of pollution which can have strong health effects.
Many VOC’s have no known health effect but many more pose a serious health risk, especially in higher doses. In particular pregnant woman and children under 5 are most at risk as their immune system are compromised in the case of pregnant woman, or not fully developed in children. People with asthma and allergies may see their symptoms flair up when exposed to higher levels of VOC’s indoors.
Clinicair recently conducted IAQ testing in a home which had recently undergone extensive renovations in the winter. The contractors sealed up everything very tight to control the winter outside, and that in turn created very high concentrations of VOC’s indoors. The woman who lived there during the construction was pregnant, and she now has become sensitized to even the lowest levels of chemicals, unable to live in her beautiful new home.
Key Sources Indoors:
- Cigarette smoke
- Non vented stoves
- Cleaning products
- Personal care products
- Pest control products
- Copies and printers
- Construction materials
In order to reduce the health threat inside your home take care when making purchasing decisions on all your household items. There is always another choice which will have fewer emissions and will maintain the health of your home. Use natural bee’s wax candles instead of the fancy ones which are made from petroleum.
Buy low VOC ….and stay healthy my friends.