Your Awair 2nd Edition(“Awair”) is equipped with a chemical sensor to give you a better sense of the presence of the most common group of indoor pollutants & chemicals, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). To ensure your readings are accurate, your Awair’s VOCs sensor has undergone several rounds of calibration and quality assurance testing. This article gives you details of how to manage chemicals with Awair.
This overview includes:
What are VOCs?
VOCs are a diverse group of chemicals commonly found in our homes, they are both naturally occurring and human-made. Carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, ethanol, methane, benzene, and propane are all examples of VOCs--the full list includes over 300 chemicals. VOCs are often measured as a group, since they usually occur together and can be treated together.
Your Awair’s chemical reading shows the total concentration of all chemicals present in the category of VOCs. The chemicals present could fall into several categories (see below).
Because VOCs are such a common and prevalent indoor pollutant, exposure to them can have a variety of impacts on health and comfort. VOCs can contribute to a host of acute symptoms including headaches and skin irritation, and symptoms that develop with long term exposure, like cancer.
- Exposure to moderate levels of VOCs can trigger allergies and asthma. They can cause nasal congestion, cough, wheezing, and pharyngitis (inflammation and soreness of the throat). Aside from respiratory symptoms, VOCs can cause headaches, dizziness, conjunctival irritation (irritation of the membrane covering the eyes and inside of the eyelids), allergic skin reactions, and fatigue.
- Higher levels of VOCs can include irritation of eyes and nasal passages, nausea and headaches, lethargy and malaise, rash, skin irritation, and eczema.
- Long term VOC exposure effects also contribute to overworking the liver and kidneys and has been linked to cognitive impairment, personality changes, and cancer.
What causes VOCs?
To manage and maintain healthy and comfortable VOC levels, it helps to know what the most common indoor VOC sources are.
Common Sources in Homes
- Paints and protective coatings
- Tobacco smoke
- Aerosol sprays
- Building materials such as ceiling tiles, adhesives, and wall boards
- Personal care products such as colognes, perfumes, nail polish, nail polish remover, and rubbing alcohol
- Cleaning materials such as glass cleaner, dishwashing detergent, and laundry detergent
- Paint stripper or adhesive remover
- Deodorizers, moth balls, and air fresheners
- Upholstered furniture and carpets
- Refrigerants and fuels