Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are gases or vapours emitted by various solids or liquids, many of which have short-term and long-term adverse health effects. Household products that emit VOCs include paint, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, glues and adhesives, building materials and furnishings. Consequently, concentrations of many VOCs are higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. Fuels such as gasoline (petrol) and diesel also release VOCs.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found concentrations of VOCs in indoor air commonly to be 2 to 5 times greater than in outdoor air and sometimes far greater. During certain activities indoor levels of VOCs may reach 1,000 times that of the outside air. Studies have shown that individual VOC emissions by themselves are not that high in an indoor environment, but the indoor total VOC (TVOC) concentrations can be up to five times higher than the VOC outdoor levels New buildings especially, contribute to the highest level of VOC off-gassing in an indoor environment because of the abundant new materials generating VOC particles at the same time in such a short time period. In addition to new buildings, we also use many consumer products that emit VOC compounds, therefore the total concentration of VOC levels is much greater within the indoor environment.
Relative humidity within an indoor environment can also affect the emissions of VOCs and formaldehyde. In fact, high relative humidity and high temperature allow more vaporization of formaldehyde from wood-materials and thus, can induce symptoms of sensory irritation in the eyes.
Office equipment, such laser printers can emit ultrafine aerosol particles, which can contribute to ozone emission in an indoor environment. There are also some chemically active VOCs, such as styrene and limonene that can react with nitrogen oxides or with ozone to produce new oxidation products and secondary aerosols, which can cause sensory irritation symptoms. Although ozone is beneficial in the upper atmosphere because it absorbs UV thus protecting humans, plants, and animals from exposure to dangerous solar radiation, it poses a health threat in the lower atmosphere by causing respiratory problems. In addition, indoor ozone sources also include air-freshening devices and air-purifiers as well as large copy and printing machines. These devices can increase indoor ozone level from 6 to 453 ppb, which can induce asthmatic symptoms or increase allergic sensitization in individuals.
VOC’s are also found extensively in industry (off gasses) and waste water treatment facilities. Odorox™
effectively removes all traces of VOC’s which can appear in many different forms (gases, liquid etc.). The hydroxyls literally attack each individual molecule that has been created by the source that usually shows up in a gas form whether it is in a new home, gas plant, sewage plant or any other work place. The exhausted air from the unit not only supplies the hydroxyls to clean the ambient air but will be VOC free itself, even though it is drawing in VOC contaminated air.