Contrary to what many may believe, it is quite difficult to predict how long it takes volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to off-gas from new materials in a specific building. Some VOCs are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans. The odor & off gassing was contained for about 7 days & then returned. Cosmetics and Nail Polish Remover It probably doesn’t surprise you to know that many cosmetics contain toxins. Most off-gassing occurs when paint is freshly applied. Instead, we do other things to decrease VOCs and off-gassing in our home, and if you’re in a similar situation, you can do these same things too. Other sources, such as particle board may continue to offgas for 20 years or more. VOCs are a large part of the problem. Common indoor sources of VOCs include paint thinners, wood preservatives, adhesives, detergents, pesticides, dry cleaning solvents, and tobacco smoke. VOCs from paint dissipate fairly quickly with most offgassing occuring during the first 6 months after application. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) will emit an odor into the air that is classified as paint fumes that will float in the air, and last for a long period of time after the painting has ended. We now know that certain VOCs do pose health concerns. Paint and paint products, in fact, are the second-largest source of VOCs after cars. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found concentrations of VOCs in indoor air to be 2 to 5 times greater than in outdoor air, and they can shoot up to a 1,000 times higher at times (for example, while a room is being painted). Exposure to VOCs can sometimes lead to short or long-term health effects. Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include conjunctival irritation, nose and throat discomfort, headache, allergic skin reaction, dyspnea, declines in serum cholinesterase levels, nausea, emesis, epistaxis, fatigue, dizziness.” Some of these symptoms are probably familiar to anyone who has painted a room or dyed their hair in an enclosed space. VOCs are an important factor in indoor air quality issues such as sick building syndrome. VOC off-gassing is most acute during application and the drying of hardwood floor finishes. The tips below should help reduce the number of VOCs in your home: Seek paints that are low in VOCs and HAPs. VOC stands for volatile organic compound any of several chemical additives found in numerous consumer products, from gasoline and glue to correction fluid and colored markers. There was sanding and re-painting done in areas that had been missied previously. Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs), on the other hand, have been studied for their effects on human and environmental health. The painters did not let the KILZ DRY before applying the paint. Even an occasional painting project can increase your risk of physical problems. Volatile organic compounds (VOC) O ne would think that the home is safe place to be in; not anymore. In reality, the fumes from the paint can still stink up your space long after the last coat dried. VOCs from paint dissipate fairly quickly with most offgassing occuring during the first 6 months after application. However, paint can pollute indoor air. Even long after these finishes have dried, however, smaller amounts of VOCs … Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a category of compounds that pose human health risks. Shop for Zero-VOC and Low-VOC stains and strippers, Shop for Zero-VOC and Low-VOC calks and adhesives, Shop for Zero-VOC and non-toxic industrial cleaning supplies, use zero- or low-VOC sealers, waxes, and adhesives, opt for solid wood furniture when possible; avoid items made of particle board or MDF, choose natural, untreated fibers for window treatments, upholstery, rugs, and carpets, for new construction, minimize the use of products containing formaldehyde or other harmful VOCs, if possible, make sure your home’s and office’s interior spaces are well-ventilated (especially when painting or working with any chemicals), if there is a "green dry cleaner" in your area, use it – the EPA maintains a PDF listing of dry cleaners that do not use perchloroethylene (if you're in the Charleston area, check out Americlean in North Charleston); otherwise, air out dry cleaned clothes before returning them to your closet. (5) Reduce VOCs When Painting. Studies have found that indoor air can be up to 10 times worse than outdoor air. Painting can … It is therefore recommended to keep the room well ventilated when the paint is applied. The VOCs emanating from a product dissipate over time as the chemicals vaporize. However, VOCs can continue to off-gas for up to 3 ½ years. Formaldehyde also often evaporates from paints, varnishes, chemicals used for sealing and finishing walls, insulation, and interior fabrics. If you already have products in your home with high concentrations of VOCs such as cabinetry made with MDF or particle board, you may want to use a sealer to minimize the amount of VOCs entering your interior atmosphere. Allow yourself time to select a healthier paint, find out if lead is a concern, and create an overall plan for reducing exposures to VOCs, HAPs, and lead.