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Some of you may be aware of the term VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds). A VOC is a chemical contaminant mainly made up of carbon and hydrogen.
When you purchase anything that has been manufactured, such as clothes, furniture and soft furnishings, cosmetics, building materials, cars and just about anything else you could think of you are being subjected to VOCs.
The release of these VOCs, sometimes referred to as outgassing or offgassing, is the process of these chemicals being released into the air.
There has been some concern raised in regard to this because as a race that needs to breath in order to survive, we have no choice but to inhale these gasses into our systems.
Conclusive short-term evidence has established that according to a particular person’s state of health, age and length of exposure these short-term effects may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Skin or throat irritation
Obviously, people with asthma or other respiratory issues are at greatest risk of reaction.
Whilst there is no long-term evidence to the health risks for humans there have been studies done with mice.
High and long term exposure to VOCs can increase the risk of cancer, as well as liver and kidney disease in animals.
So How Can You Help Yourself?
When you purchase new items that can be washed, wash them. In clothes, you have the bonus of washing any dye residues that can also cause minor skin irritations.
When it comes to larger items such as lounge suites and carpet it is essential to have the room well ventilated for a minimum of 72 hours after delivery or laying.
Our modern carpet manufacturers are waking up to the issues of VOCs and many synthetic products are now baked to kill off any lasting chemicals so rest assured you are not being exposed to large amounts.
To speed the process of the removal of these chemicals, you can vacuum often using a vacuum cleaner that has a powerful suction and a good quality filter. Be aware that your carpet will also collect ambient VOCs, which is a good thing as it is better in the carpet than in the air. The important thing to remember here is to vacuum!
Last but not least, you can get your carpets professionally cleaned by Best 1 Cleaning and Pest Management. You will obviously get the double benefit of having a clean carpet that is VOC-free.