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The term “Total Volatile Organic Compounds,” or TVOC, is used to describe a group of compounds found in emissions or ambient air.

They are chemical compounds polluted by certain volatility in the atmosphere. The chemical properties of TVOCs vary greatly. It is essentially a complex mixture of hundreds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They can have a major impact on indoor air quality.

What are the sources

TVOC emissions were selected from several sources. In indoor environments, new furnishings, office equipment, cleaning detergents, and various products can release VOCs.
Sources of indoor TVOC can also include:

  • paints
  • fabrics
  • furniture
  • paints
  • disinfectants
  • smoke
  • soaps

Health effects of TVOCs

TVOCs are dangerous and their inhalation can be harmful to health. The effects of TVOCs are guaranteed by their chemical composition, the amount of exposure, and the surrounding ventilation.

The effects can range from sensory discomfort to serious changes in health. Some of them are known carcinogens. It has been hypothesized that indoor VOC pollution could pose a carcinogenic risk for people who spend a lot of time in confined spaces (source: Ministry of Health, WHO).

The massive concentration of TVOCs in indoor environments has been associated with “sick building syndrome”.

 

How to protect ourselves from TVOCs:

The best way to protect the air from TVOCs is to avoid chemicals and increase ventilation when possible and/or necessary. Some examples of preventive measures are:

  • Use neutral cleaning products.
  • Store products such as cleaners, solvents, paints, etc. in areas with good ventilation.
  • Reduce the use of products that generate scents (such as candles, aerosols, and air fresheners).

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