Top Tips to Help Minimize VOC Exposure In Your Home
We've discussed in past posts the many risks of VOCs and how they affect health: In a recent study, participants spent six full work days in an environmentally-controlled office space at the TIEQ lab at the Syracuse Center of Excellence. In this space, VOC levels were reduced to approximately 50 micrograms per cubic meter and 40 cubic feet per minute of outdoor air per person. They found that, on average, cognitive scores were 101% higher than in conventional workspaces. That being said, it's not always easy to avoid VOCs on a daily basis in your own home. Here are a few expert tips to help you keep VOC exposure to a minimum during your daily life in your home.
Evaluate Current State of Home
Start by evaluating the current state of your home. Consider when the walls were last painted, the floors were last stained, and any other products potentially containing VOCs were used around your home's structure. If having any home improvement projects performed, choose a contractor with sufficient experience selecting and working with low-VOC materials.
Read All Labels Thoroughly
VOCs are typically found in paints, varnishes, and other home products, but they're also found in other products that are less commonly known, including some cleaning products. Make sure to check labels carefully in the future to assess the VOC levels of certain products before bringing them into and using them in your home.
Once you've disposed of all VOC products in your home, it's important to stay on top of the potential health effects from VOCs possible from products that were used in your home years ago: If your flooring is more than one year old, many of the VOCs will have dissipated already. But if you're installing new flooring or painting your floor, go for an organic option and use low VOC painting materials. It's also a good idea to open windows more frequently in your home since the air quality outside is virtually always cleaner than inside.
Remember, studies have shown that levels of several volatile organic compounds average two to five times higher indoors than outdoors, and when inhaled they can contribute to several health problems. Keep these tips in mind to stay healthy and avoid the health effects from VOCs as you stay comfortable in your colorfully painted home. For more information about eco-friendly primers and paints, contact Ecos Paints.