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What's the Source of Toxic Chemicals in Your Home?

When it comes to air quality, knowledge is power. You cannot affect external conditions, but you can monitor indoor air quality, determine the source of VOC pollution in your home, and take steps to protect your health.

Temtop air quality monitor detects indoor VOC pollution, humidity and temperature, CO2, HCHO, etc. For more information on Temtop air quality monitor and how to create a healthier indoor climate, please feel free to contact us.

Know the state of the air you breathe

Many common building materials and household goods release harmful chemicals into the air, known as volatile organic compounds (vocs). The accumulation of vocs in your home can adversely affect your health and increase your risk of serious illness. However, because VOC pollution is invisible, these risks are negligible. Here we describe six common causes of indoor VOC pollution.

1. Building materials

Many common building materials contain chemicals that cause household air pollution and have a variety of health effects. Symptoms include frequent headaches, dizziness, nausea, allergies, respiratory irritation, asthma attacks and flu-like symptoms. The most common sources of voc contamination are:

Wood composite products

Composite wood, also known as "synthetic wood", "pressed wood" or "synthetic wood", is a mixture of different types of wood and plastic. Combining these two elements with a chemical glue produces a more durable product without damaging the natural look of wood that many homeowners seek. However, the plastics and adhesives used to make synthetic wood include chemicals such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, phenol, dichloromethane, ethylene glycol ether and BTEX. All of these will increase air pollution and affect health. Composite wood is commonly used for building materials such as wood floors, terraces, wood lines and siding, kitchen cabinets, walls and shelves.

Laminate, resin, glue

In addition to the chemicals contained in composite wood products, many pressed woods are coated with dyes and resins to improve their life, color, and gloss. Chemical-based resins are used in common building materials such as plywood, fiberboard, wood, linoleum, and vinyl flooring (to name just a few). In addition, adhesives used to lay floors, tiles and cabinets also increase VOC levels in the air.

Building insulation

Fiberglass, polyurethane foams and polystyrene are common forms of building insulation, often treated with flame retardants. These substances can cause VOC emissions into the air, especially when they are exposed to excessive heat due to warm temperatures outside and indoor heating.


2. Household furniture

Many furniture manufacturers use composite wood, dyes and resins to make beautiful and durable household furniture. In addition to chemicals released from wood resin composite frames, fabrics and liners used to line these products can also emit VOC.

Flame retardant foam and fabric

California adopted a flammability standard called technical bulletin 117 (TB117) in 1975. This requires the state - owned polyurethane foam and fabric flame retardant treatment. ). While such standards are in place to improve product performance and protect the American public, research shows that eating or inhaling the chemical can have health effects. It becomes clear.

Because California is the center of textile and furniture production, flame-retardant foams and MATS are spreading rapidly across the central United States. A few years later, due to health problems with pbdes, the epa banned the chemicals in 2004, and the state of California changed TB117.

Since then, children's exposure to flame retardant chemicals has decreased significantly, but pbdes are still present in many buildings and products manufactured in the early 2000s. You can maintain a healthy home environment if you know your home's voc content, and if you know about new renovations and purchases.

The carpet

The tapestry consists of two main parts. Stud fiber (visible, part of contact rod top) and carpet backing (hard, polyethylene or latex surface fixed during installation). Most VOC emissions are caused by the lining of the carpet and the adhesive used to attach the carpet. The carrier is not only made of plastic, vinyl or rubber (a common source of formaldehyde, carbonic acid and ethylbenzene), but can also be coated with an antimicrobial chemical treatment that increases VOC exposure.

Carpet fibers are not a major source of chemicals, but can increase indoor air pollution. Synthetic carpet fibers treated with strong carpet dyes and antifouling chemicals (i.e., polymer-based fibers such as nylon and polyester) increase VOC levels in private homes.

You can limit VOC emissions from carpets by:

  • Buy carpets made from organic materials that do not use chemical dyes.
  • When checking indoor air quality, look for a green label on the carpet and carpet association (CRI).
  • Choose low volatile organic compounds, solvent-free carpet adhesive or other fixing methods (for example, non-adhesive tape).
  • Before injection, degassing the carpet in a well-ventilated room for 2-3 days.
  • Choose natural carpet interiors without foam or rubber lining.

3. The mattress

Memory foam mattresses are the new gold standard for comfort and cost savings, but there's a reason these mattresses immediately have a unique chemical smell. Mattresses are notorious for causing VOC pollution for two different reasons. They are mainly made of foam and fabric.

Memory foam is usually made from polyurethane. It is a versatile plastic polymer that can be used for everything from spray foam insulation to seat cushions, sealants, adhesives, etc. In addition to polyurethane contamination, fabrics used to wrap mattresses are often treated with odor barriers, antibacterial, moisture - and sweats - absorbing or flame - retardant chemicals.

If you want a new mattress, don't panic. Instead, look for low-voc mattresses (for example, okeo-tex's GREENGUARD Gold or STANDARD 100) that use primarily organic materials to limit VOC exposure. Allow time for the new mattress to release air in a well-ventilated area before you take a test drive.

4. Paint

The colours used in the home can also affect VOC levels in the air. Some colors only release vocs when they are wet (that is, during painting and drying), while others continue to release vocs after a room has been decorated. If you have painted a room before and your eyes are dazed or confused, you will be immediately exposed to high VOC exposure.

To protect your health, look for low VOC or low VOC paints, wear a mask when painting, and ventilate properly to reduce VOC levels.

5. Cleaning products

The chemicals you take home directly affect your air quality. High chemical detergents can give an extraordinary sheen, but can also lead to dangerous levels of indoor VOC.

Green cleaning products are generally adequate for routine cleaning tasks and emit less volatile organic compounds on average than non-green alternatives. If high levels of chemicals are needed to handle irritating chemicals, make sure your room is well ventilated, wear a mask and get regular rest.

6. Candles and air fresheners

Thanks to the smell of scented candles and perfume, you will feel good. However, these products can also increase your exposure to particulate and chemical pollutants. To protect your health, choose beeswax candles and use natural ingredients (such as pine branches, wildflowers, lavender, cinnamon sticks and eucalyptus) to create a seasonal indoor aroma.

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