We are not talking about murderous mimes – the real silent killers are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)!
If you need a refresher on what are VOCs and the sources of it, visit our previous blog entry.
VOCs have a wide array of adverse effects, depending on the toxicity of the VOC, the concentration, and the length of the exposure. If you’re subjected to significant quantities of VOCs, you may experience irritation in the eyes and respiratory tract, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, blurring of sight and if exposure is prolonged, memory impairment.
If any of these symptoms manifest, leave the room immediately, don’t shrug it off- it’s better to err on the side of caution. Go to an open area, take deep breaths and drink lots of water.
While these symptoms are general and could indicate just about any other illness, other key symptoms may point more directly to VOC poisoning.
Symptoms of VOC poisoning include:
- Allergic skin reaction
- Laboured breathing, also known as dyspnea
- An unhealthy decline in serum cholinesterase levels: your coordination and reflexes will be impaired due to a disruption in your nervous system.
Extreme cases of VOC poisoning are more common than made out to be. The toxins can severely damage the liver, which is one of the most vital organs in your body. The kidneys and central nervous system aren’t spared either.
The worst disease that VOCs can cause is cancer. Some VOCs are known to be carcinogenic while there’s a long list of others that scientists are still trying to ascertain. In many studies, VOC-induced cancer manifests in animals in many of its horrid forms. The results imply that humans aren’t immune either.
VOCs: Killing us softly
The steep levels of VOCs in the places that we hang out means that we are continually inhaling the chemicals that may bring us suffering and even death. Being confined in a finite space indoors with VOCs around us makes it almost impossible to breathe with absolutely no worries. Plus, pollution from the outdoors is also able to creep indoors and pile on onto the pollution inside your homes.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce the amount of VOCs in your home. Monitor our blog and stay tuned for the article on ways to reduce the VOCs at home.
Meanwhile, you can consider painting your home with Gush, the paint that removes VOCs and does much more!
Find out more about how our paint breaks down VOCs “how it works”.