“The ability of organic chemicals to cause health effects varies greatly from those that are highly toxic, to those with no known health effect.”

Today’s clients want to know if their family is breathing in any harmful contaminants that might be beyond basic mold testing. They read on the internet that Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) can bring about symptoms that can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, loss of coordination, and nausea* — something that a basic mold inspection might not find. VOCs may also cause damage to your liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Some organics can cause cancer in animals, and some are suspected to cause cancer in humans. This is nothing that you want to play around with. However, Volatile Organic Compounds are common in the indoor environment.

Volatile organic compounds are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids.* VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short and/or long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to 10 times) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands.

Organic chemicals are widely used as ingredients in household products. Paints, varnishes, and wax all contain organic solvents, as do many cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing, and hobby products. Fuels are made of organic chemicals. All of these products can release VOCs while you are using them, and, to some degree, when they are stored. It is important to store household products containing potentially harmful chemicals in sealed containers. Use the products and then store them away to minimize exposure

We use state-of-the-art equipment such as the Graywolf Multi-Gas PID monitor to survey information about total volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, temperature and relative humidity. These indoor air quality monitors can give us instant readings on the spot while we are doing the inspection from as many different locations as we think necessary. If you’re interested in having tests done beyond mold assessments and investigating your exposure to VOCs, contact Culley Enviro.

*From the EPA Publication “Volatile Organic Compounds Impact on Indoor Air Quality.