What are VOCs?
VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, are chemicals that become vapors or fumes as a chemical is being used, drying, or in some cases, just sitting in our homes or on a shelf. Burning fuel, drying paint or glue and cleaning products are a few common things in our everyday environments that expose us to VOCs.
Expose!? Is a VOC harmful?
VOCs are compound chemicals, meaning there is multiple chemicals being released into the air, so they are plural. In more cases than we should find acceptable, these VOCs we are exposed to contain known carcinogens such as formaldehyde, benzene and perchloroethylene. Prolonged exposure can lead to liver, kidney and central nervous system damage. While short term exposure can lead to dizziness, headaches, cognitive dysfunction, fatigue, visual disorders, respiratory irritation, nausea and memory impairment.
I don't want VOCs in my life! How do I stay away from them?
In many cases, such as outdoors, especially in the summer when smog is heavier, we have no choice over what we our exposed to. VOCs are very common in the polluted air we breathe. It's especially heavy in traffic, industrial parks, dry cleaners and laundry mat exhausts, building and construction sites.
Acccording to the EPA, indoor air pollution can be up to 4x worse than outside! Air fresheners, cleaning products, copiers, printers, paints....the list goes on. All of these things vary in VOC content and the amount of carcinogenic chemicals in them, but if we have a choice, and the lowest standard of VOCs is only barely considered safe, why choose to expose ourselves in our homes and places of work where we spend most of our time?
VOCs must serve a purpose, I don't think the ZERO VOC products will work as good.
This common myth that the "Natural" choice is less effective is based on some failures in the past and a lot of money spent on the competitors behalf. With things like cleaning products, air fresheners, laundry detergents and the paint we put on our walls, the products have surpassed the "normal" products that contain toxic chemicals by a long shot.
In the painting industry, we often hear uneducated, biased and close minded painters stuck in their ways saying that the ZERO VOC paints don't work as well, or that it's too expensive. Both of these statements are completely untrue! The painters stating these facts just have a "discount" on the cheaper paint, where they have to use twice as much. Choosing the safe route comes with no sacrifice at all. It's really a no brainer!
Science and technology are realizing that the laws of Nature are laws that we cannot change and that we must work in a state of Harmony with, for the sake of our health & the conservation of our planet!