What’s Spooky? VOCs! All About The Season’s Scariest Danger
Your kids can’t wait for fright night and spooky season, but there’s something far more scary for your family to watch out for (all year round). Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are seeping and creeping around our homes, with potentially serious mental and physical health effects. Find out what the most common VOCs are, why they’re scary, and how to eliminate them with a Coway air purifier.
What Are VOCs?
Volatile organic compounds are everyday chemicals that become a gas at room temperature. They enter our homes through a number of routes. Once they’re in the air we breathe, they can wreak slow, progressive havoc on our health, even if our intentions for using them are good (eg. air fresheners).
The sources of VOCs
- Building materials, such as composite wood, upholstery, paint, vinyl flooring
- Cleaning products, polishes and solvents, from laundry and cooking products to air fresheners
- Cosmetics that use solvents or artificial aromas
- Hobby materials, including glues, printer ink, permanent markers
- Stored gas and fuel (for both cooking and vehicles)
- Combustion, from wood burners and tobacco smoking
Levels of VOCs can be up to 10 times higher indoors than outdoors, which means you’re regularly exposing yourself to harmful chemicals including benzene, formaldehyde, acetone, xylene, butanol and ethanol.
What Are the Health Risks of VOC Exposure?
Some of us, particularly asthma sufferers, have an instant reaction to VOCs. They irritate our eyes and throat causing coughing, wheezing, sneezing and shortness of breath. If levels are particularly high, they may also cause headaches and nausea. That’s why workshops, factories, dry cleaners and nail salons usually require mask-wearing and specialized extraction/ventilation systems.
Long-term exposure to VOCs can cause damage to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system, as well as an elevated risk of cancer. While some VOCs have a distinctive chemical smell (such as acetone), don’t rely on being able to detect them with your nose. Not only are some of them quite difficult to distinguish, but you’ll also become accustomed to the aroma of your own home over time, so they can hide among the other benign sources.
How to Reduce VOC Levels in the Home
In the first instance, deploy a four-step strategy to remove VOCs from the air you breathe and restore a safe environment.
Start with the four S’s
- Study the risks and sources of VOCs so you know what you’re up against. The companies producing these cleaners, detergents and sprays spend a lot of marketing money on attracting customers. You can educate yourself for free.
- Swap what you have in the home already for VOC-free alternatives. Vinegar and baking soda, for example, can replace the majority of brand detergents.
- Shop smart by using the knowledge you’ve gathered to source VOC-free products. Check the label of anything you’re about to pop in the shopping basket.
- Store as little as possible at any given time, assign a storage area outside, keep items separate (some VOCs are hazardous near others), and make sure the storage space is well-ventilated.
That last point applies to the whole home. If your living area is properly ventilated, there’s a route for VOCs to escape. You can also try increasing the number of plants in your home as these make excellent natural VOC filters.
How do you know when you’re making progress? You’ll feel better for a start, but you should also be monitoring air quality at home to check if your environment is safe. That’s where a Coway air purifier is a game changer.
How to Unmask and Remove VOCs with Coway
Our home and apartment air purifiers enable real-time monitoring of your indoor quality, with set-and-forget functionality. Thanks to our Auto, Eco and Sleep modes, your air purifier monitors air quality (and VOCs) automatically and responds immediately when critical levels are reached. In most cases, you’ll have clean air again in as little as two minutes, depending on the size of your living space.
How do Coway air purifiers eliminate 99.999% of common VOCs? It comes down to the Max2 Activated Carbon Filter, which captures and removes common VOCs including cigarette smoke, nitrogen dioxide, acetaldehyde, and sulfur dioxide.
You don’t have to suffer nightmares about air quality this Halloween season. Treat yourself to the tricks of next-generation air purification with Coway.
MN Department of Health Volatile Organic Compounds in Your Home - MN Dept. of Health.
1Coway air purifiers has been proven to trap dust, pollen, dander, viruses and bacteria in the air based on KCL (Korea Conformity Laboratories) testing.They have been tested in a 30㎥ size chamber according to the Korea Air Cleaning Association standard (SPS-KACA 002-132:2022 Modified) to measure the 0.01㎛ size of particle removal rate. It was tested on maximum airflow speed in normal room temperature and humidity conditions. The performance may vary in the actual living environment of customers.
→ Tested with Airmega Aim, 150, 160, AP-1216L, AP-1512HH, AP-1512HHS, 200M, Icon, IconS, 230, 240, 250, 250 Art, 250S, 300, 300S, 400, 400S, ProX
299.97% of viruses, bacteria, fungi and pollen were verified to be removed from the air for Coway air purifiers which have Green True HEPA™ filter applied based on the Japan Food Research Laboratories(JFRL) testing according to JEM 1467 standard.
→ Tested with Coway Airmega AP-1512HH, AP-1512HHS, 250, 250 Art, 250S, 300, 300S, 400, 400S
→ All tested by JFRL and received above result within below time.
All tested by JFRL and received above result within below time.
- Virus: Tested with Escherichia coli phage ΦX174 NBRC 103405, 60 minutes
- Bacteria: Tested with Staphylococcus epidermidis NBRC 12993, 60 minutes
- Fungi/Mold: Tested with Penicillium citrinum NBRC 6352, 60 minutes
- Pollen: Tested with Cedar Pollen extract, 60 minutes
3Aerosol test conducted in a Biosafety level 3 laboratory with two Coway air purifier models, Coway Airmega 250 and 400 for removal of SARS-CoV-2 Aerosol by US based MRI Global, a not-for-profit laboratory and partner of US Department of Defense. The test was conducted in a 13.1ft3 chamber. Virus was aerosolized for 15 minutes and the product was turned on high for 2 minutes. Result showed each product effectively removed over 99.98% of the SARS-CoV-2 in 2 minutes. This is a result from a laboratory experiment condition and result may vary in different conditions. This result does not imply it kills SARS-CoV-2 or prevents the transmission of Covid-19. Coway Airmega 250S and 400S are identical to the tested models and has equal performance with an additional mobile connectivity function.
4The concentration of ammonia, acetaldehyde and acetic acid were proven to be removed within 30 minutes by FCG Research Institute, Inc. Human Life Science Lab. It is not a demonstration result in the actual use space. Not all odors and gases may be supported. → Tested with Coway Airmega 150, 160, AP-1512HH, AP-1512HHS, 400, 400S
5The coverage area of the air purifier is based on an area where the air cleaner can make two air changes per hour (ACPH). An air change per hour translates to how many times an air purifier can clean an area, assuming the height of a ceiling to be 8 ft, in one hour. Therefore ** means two air changes per hour means that the cleaner can clean the area once every 30 minutes and * means air changes per hour means that the air purifier can clean the area once every 60 minutes.
10Terms and conditions apply. Discounts, including promotions, coupons, and bundle pricing, cannot be stacked on top of other coupons. During promotional periods, discount codes will not be able to be applied to orders. Promo codes may apply to products only—filters, accessories, and new products within 3 months of the release date are not included.