When we think of air quality, people mostly think of the outside world, smog from cars and industry or the fresh air of woods. However, 90% of our daily life is spent indoors: our home, workplace, public buildings and schools. Indoor quality is one of the most important components of well-being, feeling comfortable in a room. Besides, bad air quality has implications on your productivity and may even harm your health. The Volatile organic components (VOC) may be the least known.
TVOCS affects the wellbeing, feeling comfortable and healthTVOCs affect your sense off wellbeing and if you feel comfortable inside a building. Some VOC’s are even bad for health. Some VOCs are more harmful than others. If a TVOC is harmful also depend on factors as level of exposure and length of time being exposed. Besides, some people -especially children and elderly people- have a higher sensibility then others. Immediate symptoms that some people have experienced soon after exposure to VOCs are eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders and memory impairment. An example: some people get immediately a headache from being in a room which is just painted. Others may find the smell just uncomfortable.
TVOCs can cause:
What is TVOC?
What is TVOC? TVOC means Total Volatile Organic compounds. Volatile organic compounds are organic chemicals that become a gas at room temperature. There are thousands of VOCs and a multiple of VOC’s are at the same time present. Therefore, the Total VOC is used at most times: measuring the concentration of the total of VOC’s This is easier and less expensive then measuring individual VOC’s.
Some examples of VOC’s are:
VOC in the outside world Vehicle exhaust and industry pollution may also cause bad indoor air quality when the polluted air can enter the building due to open windows or air condition that doesn’t work properly. Especially when the building stands in congested or industrial areas.
Are all VOC’s harmful? “EPA’s Total Exposure Assessment Methodology (TEAM) studies found levels of about a dozen common organic pollutants to be 2 to 5 times higher inside homes than outside, regardless of whether the homes were located in rural or highly industrial areas. Additional TEAM studies indicate that while people are using products containing organic chemicals, they can expose themselves and others to very high pollutant levels, and elevated concentrations can persist in the air long after the activity is completed.” (What are volatile organic compounds (VOCs)?, EPA, https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/what-are-volatile-organic-compounds-vocs)
TVOC can be measured in micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) of air (or milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3), parts per million (ppm) or parts per billion (ppb)). The table below shows that less than 0.3 mg/m3 are considered low TVOC concentration levels. And levels between 0.3 mg/m3 to 0.5 mg/m3 are acceptable.
TVOC Level mg/m3Level of Concern
Less than 0.3 mg/m3Low
0.3 to 0.5 mg/m3Acceptable
0.5 to 1 mg/m3Marginal
1 to 3 mg/m3High
TVOC Level mg/m3 and Level of ConcernThe ASN Airmex measures the TVOC in your building, for a safe and comfortable indoor air quality
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