April 2, 2017
At Awair, we help you track the key factors that affect air quality: chemicals, dust, CO2, humidity, and temperature. The first on the list sounds a bit ambiguous--which “chemicals” are we even talking about? The chemicals in your air that we’re most interested in are commonly referred to as VOCs, and we have quite a bit to say about them...
VOCs aren’t one specific thing — VOC (volatile organic compound) is an umbrella term used to describe any organic chemical that evaporates easily at room temperature. Although VOC pollution is typically invisible, it can affect your health in a variety of ways.
A straightforward answer: any organic chemical that evaporates easily at room temperature is in the air you breathe. In fact, there’s a very high chance you’re breathing in VOCs right now.
VOCs can sometimes come in scary packages--like Formaldehyde, Benzene, and Acetone. While VOCs aren’t acutely toxic (they won’t poison and kill you in your sleep), there’s evidence that they cause a variety of health problems. Eczema flare-ups, allergies, asthma, and headaches have all been linked to VOCs. Long-term exposure to VOCs has also been known to contribute to organ damage and cancer.
It turns out there are many sources of VOCs in your home. VOCs are emitted by paint, cleaning supplies, common household products, building materials, furniture, and more. You may even be unintentionally increasing the number of VOCs in your air just by doing the things you love, like burning scented candles or buying your favorite products in bulk.
If it’s starting to sound like VOCs aren’t very regulated, you’re on the right track. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates VOCs in our drinking water and outdoor air, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates VOCs in the workplace. But, there is no government agency currently dedicated to protecting us from VOCs in non-industrial indoor air--our homes.
The truth is it’s impossible to completely eradicate VOCs from your home. But before you start panicking, let us help. There are plenty of quick fixes you can make to clean up the air in your home.
No need to throw out every VOC-emitting product in your house-- by adopting a few new habits you can easily live with safer air. Here are a few ideas:
To learn more about how Awair can help you keep a healthier home, follow the link below.
The first sight of falling leaves can inspire us to transform our homes to welcome Fall. One of the most tempting ways to embrace the season is by filling our homes with the warm scent of pumpkin spice candles–but wait! Before you reach for the matches, have you thought about how you could be affecting your health?
One of the biggest challenges you can face as a renter is how to make your apartment feel like your own. It isn’t easy decorating and expressing your personal style while having to draw within the lines of the long list of rules on your lease. If you’ve gotten creative and figured out a few ways to change up the apartment’s aesthetic to make it feel like more like your apartment, you’re on the right track! There’s another way you can take control of your apartment like any homeowner beyond decorating, and it involves how healthy you choose to make your space.
As the Coronavirus continues to spread, more people are stocking up on hand sanitizer, staying home sick from work, avoiding unnecessary travel, and doing everything the Center for Disease Control (CDC) begs us to do every flu season with newfound dedication.