Personal Solutions

What are volatile organic compounds (VOCs)?

By Admin • April 11, 2019
These colorless and odorless volatile organic compounds in the air could be killing us slowly without us even realizing it.

We are surrounded by many chemicals and substances daily and many of which we come into contact with often without realizing it. Among them are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are organic chemicals with a very low boiling point, many evaporate into the air at just room temperature and some even below that. This means that these chemicals easily get discharged into our surroundings whether we like it or not. The sound of the word Organic may put many people at ease, but little do some of us know that many VOCs can be toxic to our health. Just how bad is it and what measures can be taken to reduce this risk? We take a look.

VOCs are considered organic because of the high carbon molecules it is made up of and surprising to many people, VOCs are colorless, odorless, and tasteless. This makes it difficult for us to identify especially if we are not aware of it. But many people wonder what harm can it do to us and research over the years have found that some of these compounds can contribute to a number of illnesses such as kidney damage, liver damage and complications in the central nervous system due to excessive exposure as suggested by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

We put ourselves at risk when we breathe in air with high concentrations of VOCs and research has also shown that indoor air contains multiple times more VOCs as compared to outdoor air. This similar phenomenon with airborne bacteria and viruses is due to the fact that indoor air is stagnant and the dampness encourages proliferation. This is the reason that experts advise us to have our homes well ventilated allowing more airflow, but nonetheless this does not deter VOCs from being evaporated from the many household items we live with.

In a normal household, there are plenty of items with VOCs and these items are sometimes the furniture, carpets, printers, electronical devices and detergents depending on the materials they are made of. It is difficult to avoid being exposed to VOCs because the daily routines such as cleaning and cooking can give off these compounds into the air. A new home for example has way more pollutants than we know, they come from the paint, wood preservatives, adhesives, glues and so on. Sometimes, it is unavoidable, but whenever possible, it is wise to choose products which are more natural or organic for the sake of our family’s health.

We get all excited when we purchase a new car, the wonderful ‘new car smell’ which lasts a few months, the leather and vinyl smell also gives us satisfaction. At the same time, VOCs from the plastic finishing, fabric, and paint are also found in new cars. It doesn’t help when the air conditioner is on and the air is constantly circulating internally. These harmful compounds may not be obvious or taking immediate effect, but over time it seriously affects our health. The car is where we spend a substantial amount of time and that VOC threat is often not addressed.

There are many products in the market that help to filter dirt and particles from the air in our homes even up to millimicron in size but most of these products do not eliminate the threat of VOCs. Because they are so volatile and unstable, they evaporate as a gas rather than a particle, making it very difficult to remove from the air around us. A solution to this is Active Oxygen, the negative ions and ozone from Active Oxygen works as an agent to disarm the toxicity of VOCs by first destroying its molecular atoms, before the negative ions attaches themselves around the atoms and bringing them to the ground with the help of gravity.

The Medklinn Asens+ Air+Surface Sterilizer is the ideal device to reduce the toxicity of these volatile organic compounds in your home. The Asens+ uses Cerafusion™ Technology to create Active Oxygen which is then released into its surroundings, perfect for an enclosed environment. Active Oxygen eliminates 99.9% of all allergens, bad odour, bacteria, viruses, mould and other toxic substances such as VOCs in the air and on surfaces. It comes in two models to suit your needs. The Autoplus is a handy device to have in your car to protect you and your loved ones from bacteria and VOCs as you commute.

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