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VOC's in the Home

"Volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands. Examples include: paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and
carbonless copy paper, graphics and craft materials including glues and adhesives, permanent markers, and photographic solutions.

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 up of organic chemicals. All of these products can release
organic compounds while you are using them, and, to some degree, when they are stored." (taken from http://www.epa.gov/iaq/voc.html <http://www.epa.gov/iaq/voc.html> )

Make a survey of the household cleaning products that you use at home. How many of these chemicals do you believe emit VOCs? Are there any chemicals that you have stored for years that you never use? After reading this information, discuss whether would you consider altering any of the following:

* type and/or quantity of chemicals that you use

* how or where you store chemicals

* how long you store chemicals

Solution Preview

There is no such thing as a product that claims it has zero Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOC). When a product claims to have no VOC, what the manufacturer is really saying is that there are very, very low levels of the compound. The following is a review of the cleaning and home repair products surveyed within a household
? Pledge Clean and Dust
? Arm and Hammer Clean Shower
? Windex Glass Cleaner
? Clorox Clean-Up
? Febreze Fabric Refresher
? Comet
Many of the cleaning products used in the home mostly contain some levels of VOC's, especially the products which are required to spray. What was interesting is that most of the cleaning products did not show their ingredients. In this household most of the products are used weekly or daily; however, it was interesting to find that there were several chemical products that were not ...

Solution Summary

There is no such thing as a product that claims it has zero Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOC). When a product claims to have no VOC, what the manufacturer is really saying is that there are very, very low levels of the compound. The following is a review of the cleaning and home repair products surveyed within a household

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