Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): primary sources of indoor pollution
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are the most well-known chemical pollutants, as there are thousands of them, either outdoors or directly inside our homes. They are carbon-based molecules, emitted in gaseous form into the atmosphere. Their volatility allows them to spread through the air, sometimes miles from where they are emitted. You do not see them, they are your roommates and they can take their source even within your house degrading strongly the quality of the indoor air !
Generally speaking, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) present indoors come from:
- DIY and decoration products (paint, glue, varnish…).
- household cleaning products (detergents, paint removers, stain removers, thinners, methylated spirits, etc.).
- ambiance products (candles, incense…).
They cause irritation, dizziness, allergic reaction and respiratory issues… Leading to lasting healthy issues in case of chronical exposition.
Clean indoor air by reducing VOCs volume
You can combine the use of our environmentally friendly air purifier (responsible for capturing VOCs) with some good practices that will significantly reduce the presence of these toxic compounds in your home.
Concerning DIY products:
- Be aware that since 2010, the products of construction, renovation and home decoration label a VOCs emission index in indoor air, ranging from A+ to C (C being the most emitting in VOCs).
- Aerate….. we recommend between 2 and 4 weeks minimum (continuous) after a painting.
- Aerate the room when you do DIY and at most during the following weeks, from 2 to 4 weeks after a painting.
About home care products :
- Choose environmentally friendly products and follow the recommended dosage on the label (Many people abuse household products to make their home even cleaner… Yes, but it will also be more polluted !)
Concerning ambient products:
- Do not abuse it and ventilate your home regularly to remove VOCs from your home and clean the air.
Good to know: Tobacco smoke increases VOCs concentrations.
Formaldehyde, one of the most dangerous VOCs
Formaldehyde belongs to the family of Volatile Organic Compounds. It is known as “formaldehyde” in shops and is recognized by its pungent smell, even at low concentrations. Although classified as a carcinogen by the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), formaldehyde is known throughout the world for the manufacture of disinfectants, preservatives and textiles. It is present in paint, varnish, glue… We are also fully involved in its production through some of our activities such as smoking, wood heating, burning gasoline.
For indoor air, in addition to formaldehyde-based products, the main source of formaldehyde is wood, chipboard and plywood used for flooring and furniture. They include formaldehyde-based thermosetting adhesives for their manufacture. Fortunately, since 2002, regulations have imposed a maximum formaldehyde content.
In all cases, solid wood is preferable to veneer or plywood, as it emits formaldehyde at a very low concentration. Choose hard oils and natural resins to cover it.
In addition to VOCs, pollutants of biological origin weaken the air quality of your home.
Clean indoor air by removing biological pollutants
To remove biological pollutants and clean indoor air, in addition to using an air purifier, there is no secret, you will need to air! The French Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition recommends that you renew the air in your home at least twice a day. To minimize the effects of your furball on your health, also make sure to vacuum your carpets, rugs and as much as possible forbid your pet to sit comfortably in your bed or your favorite chair.
CO2, CO, lead: other chemical pollutants in our homes
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an extremely toxic polluting gas. It is created by burning wood, gasoline, oil, coal, natural gas or propane. Generally speaking, you find carbon monoxide in the indoor air via household equipment, especially when it is improperly installed:
- boilers and water heaters,
- oil-fired auxiliary heaters,
- cooking appliances.
To limit the presence of carbon monoxide, do not use outdoor appliances inside your home. Do not hesitate to have your heating professionally serviced and your chimney cleaned before winter.
Present in the house it may come from old water pipes, old paint or dust from a polluted outside. Lead poisoning is the worst consequence (attacks the nervous system). In small quantities, it can affect the airways. To avoid indoor air degradation by lead, it is best to monitor the condition of your wall coverings and fight against humidity, the main cause of paint degradation.
Carbon dioxide (CO2)
Finally, CO2 is naturally present in the atmosphere and human beings produce it themselves, simply by breathing. However, a too high a concentration of CO2 indoors, mainly due to a lack of ventilation, can cause fatigue and headaches. One piece of advice: ventilate your home regularly. In any case, don’t hesitate to use our ecological air purifier. Blooow does not consume any energy during operation and there is no filter to change.
Want to know more about our environmentally friendly air purifier?
Our Blooow air purifier effectively reduces indoor pollution and quickly improves indoor air quality. If you also want to clean the air at home, our experts are at your disposal.