A Fact Sheet to Guard Your Home Against Volatile Organic Compounds
Our homes are our safe zones and we want to feel protected in every way, but volatile organic compounds (VOC) emitted into the air through common household products could be exposing us to a host of dangerous pollutants that can seriously affect our health.
Scientists from the EPA’s Office of Research and Development conducted a study called “Total Exposure Assessment Methodology (TEAM)” and found levels of nearly a dozen common organic pollutants to be two to five times higher inside homes than outside. It’s a disturbing revelation when we consider how much time the average American spends inside!
Dale’s Remodeling understands how important it is to guard against harmful chemicals before, during and after a remodel and offers this fact sheet as a way to help you arm yourself against volatile organic compounds.
One of the biggest contributors to poor indoor air quality are the cleaning supplies, wood preservatives, and air fresheners we rely on to keep our homes clean and well-maintained after a remodel. Over time, regular use can increase the level of containments trapped inside until VOCs levels become toxic.
Your best defense against VOCs from regularly used items is to make sure rooms are well ventilated, as paint supplies, aerosols, and gas fumes from equipment can quickly fill a closed off room and cause serious injury. Also, keep in mind dry-cleaned clothing, office equipment, hobby supplies, pesticides, and stored fuels and automotive products all add to the level of VOCs.
Health Effects and Symptoms
Health complications resulting from exposure to VOCs can range from mild irritation, to strong and very serious reactions. If you experience irritation of the skin, eye, nose or throat, a sudden headache, or unexplained nosebleeds leave the affected area immediately to a space with good, fresh airflow. Likewise, if you begin feeling fatigued, experience dizziness, nausea or loss of coordination.
Long-lasting VOC contamination may not always immediately present itself, but could still cause permanent damage to organs and the central nervous system, initiate breathing issues, and even cancer. When working with chemicals, especially during a remodel, it’s important to always protect yourself against VOCs, whether or not you experience symptoms immediately.
Arm Yourself Against VOCs with Seven Tips From Dale’s Remodeling
During a remodeling project make sure you take precautions to protect yourself from harmful volatile organic compounds by employing these seven safety tips.
- Increase ventilation by opening windows and doors throughout the house to get good airflow.
- Use all chemicals according to their product label warnings.
- Never mix household care products unless directed on the label.
- Throw away unused or little-used containers safely, and then safely dispose of the container.
- Buy supplies in quantities that can be entirely used up during a single project.
- Do not store open containers of unused paints and similar materials inside the house.
- Always keep your supplies out of reach of children and pets.
Taking preventative steps to minimize exposure to volatile organic compounds during a remodeling project has always been standard practice at Dale’s Remodeling. Armed with good planning and a well-ventilated area, we can achieve your remodeling goals and protect your good health inside the home of your dreams.