Volatile organic compounds, often abbreviated VOCs are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects.
Concentrations of VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products.
Sources include but aren’t limited to:
Paints, paint strippers and other solvents
Cleansers and disinfectants
Moth repellents and air fresheners
Stored fuels and automotive products
Building materials and furnishings
Office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper
Graphics and craft materials including glues and adhesives, permanent markers and photographic solutions.
All of these products can release organic compounds while you are using them, and, to some degree, when they are stored.
Health Effects include:
Eye, nose and throat irritation
Headaches, loss of coordination and nausea
Damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system
Some organics can cause cancer in animals, some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.
Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include: