There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of VOCs. And yet, they’re found in the air you breathe and the water you drink.
What are VOCs?
VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, are chemicals that occur as vapors at ordinary air temperatures. That means they are floating in the air you breathe as you read this article. Though they are mostly found in air, the chemicals that VOCs are associated with can soak into the ground and thus find its way into the city water supply.
Where do VOCs come from?
Some VOCs come from natural sources like plants. However, other non-natural products like paints, ink, cleaning & disinfencting supplies, pesticides, cosmetics, petrol, and more, can release VOCs.
What are the effects of breathing air or drinking water contaminated with VOCs?
The Environmental Protection Agency believes that VOCs can cause various negative health effects such as eye, nose and respiratory irritation, headaches, nausea and potentially damage to organs like your kidneys, liver and central nervous system. It is also a possible cause of cancer.
What can I do to reduce VOCs?
In a city like Hong Kong where there tend to be high levels of air pollution, it is especially important to protect your home from hazardous VOCs. The best way to reduce these contaminants is to use air and water filters.
We carry a wide range of products that reduce contaminants in the air. Find out more in our shop.
Volatile Organic Compounds. American Water Works Association: http://www.drinktap.org/home/water-information/water-quality/ucmr3/volatile-organic-compounds.aspx
An Introduction to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). EPA: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/voc.html
Indoor Environmental Quality, Chemicals and Odors. CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/indoorenv/ChemicalsOdors.html