TVOCs stands for Total Volatile Organic Compounds, which are the total amount of any emitted gases with short or long-term health effects. TVOCS are both naturally occurring and human-made.
Why are TVOCs important?
TVOCs can cause serious health effects in both the short and long term. Health effects vary from minor eye, nose and throat irritations all the way to liver and kidney damage or cancer, depending on the level of exposure.
Where do TVOCs come from?
They come from an array of everyday items including paints and varnishes, wax and cosmetics, cleaning and hobby products, and even cooking. When you have an enclosed space like a home or office, these emitted gases accumulate and pollute our fresh air.
Lessen sources of TVOCs
Store all known toxic products like paint, varnishes, heavy cleaning supplies, etc. separate from your home in a shed or garage. Avoid buying TVOC products in bulk and try to reduce the amount of products you purchase that contain TVOCs. Try to purchase environmentally friendly products with lower levels or no TVOCs.
Strong odors in new or recently renovated indoor environments are often due to off-gassing from new building materials, finishes, and furnishings. TVOCs may come from treated or engineered wood products, carpets, flooring, cabinets, paints, stains, varnishes, caulking, adhesives and many other materials.
Typically, TVOC levels in the indoor air will decrease over time, but just how long it will take depends on a number of factors. It’s also important to know that TVOCs can be reintroduced into the indoor environment from the use of some common materials, including cleaning supplies, air fresheners, pesticides and aerosol sprays.