Human Health Effects of Concern. Poor indoor air quality can cause a variety of adverse health effects. Diverse definitions of the term VOC are in use. Breathing low levels of VOCs for long periods in indoor environments has been shown to pose a risk to human health. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands. The health effects depend on the specific composition of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present, their concentration and the length of exposure. Examples … VOC concentrations are almost always higher indoors due to their presence in many household products combined with poor ventilation. Formaldehyde is a priority VOC because of its frequent occurrence in indoor air and the serious health outcomes resulting from exposure. Health effects from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are usually temporary and improve once the source of the exposure is identified and removed. Some VOCs are also carcinogenic and can cause cancer in humans and animals. Most VOCs are not acutely toxic, but may have long-term chronic health effects. What are the Health Effects of VOC Exposure? VOCs may be odorous and some VOCs are known or suspected to cause a variety of adverse health effects. Effects of VOCs on Human Health. Environmental effects of VOCs. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are a group of carbon-based chemicals that easily evaporate at room temperature, altering air quality and posing multiple health risks. The purpose of this study is to provide a bibliometric analysis of the research on the health effects of VOCs over the past 16 years. Health effects now associated with specific SVOCs include allergic symptoms, retarded reproductive development, and altered semen quality with phthalates, and lower birth weight with perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoate. Health effects range from respiratory, allergic, or immune. Some compounds, such as benzene are extremely toxic indeed, others are not known to cause any health problems at all. Several studies suggest that exposure to VOCs may make symptoms worse for people with asthma or who … Breathing in low levels of VOCs for long periods of time may increase some people’s risk of health problems. These health effects can include irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. Exposure to VOCs can sometimes lead to short or long-term health effects. The common form of volatile organic compounds includes benzene, formaldehyde, and toluene. Effects of VOCs on Human Health. Definitions. Outdoor sources of VOCs can include the following2: Traffic from cars, boats, and trains. Not all volatile organic compounds will affect indoor air quality in the same way or produce the same adverse health effects in humans. While many of these chemicals occur in the atmosphere naturally, a significant portion of VOC emission come from manmade sources. Human gestation is a time of great vulnerability to environmental and pharmacologic agents. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. VOCs are a large part of the problem. Chemical production and storage facilities. The health effects caused by VOCs depend on the concentration and length of exposure to the chemicals. Health effects vary from minor eye, nose and throat irritations all the way to liver and kidney damage or … Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) have the potential to pollute your indoor air faster than the outdoor air. However, there is no published literature conducting a bibliometric analysis to explore the tendency. Authors; Authors and affiliations; Vipin Soni; Paramvir Singh; Venu Shree; Varun Goel; Chapter. VOCs can cause serious health effects in both the short and long term. Low-VOC and no-VOC paints have entered the market but even these paints are not truly free of VOC compounds; a paint without a VOC drying agent will often still have a (sometimes significant) VOC content based on other ingredients like the pigment that is added at the point of sale. Some people may be more sensitive, such as people with asthma. So What are the Effects of VOCs on Human Health. Breathing low levels of VOCs for long periods of time may increase some people’s risk of health problems. 8 Citations; 1.9k Downloads; Part of the Energy, Environment, and Sustainability book series (ENENSU) Abstract. (This is only for latex paint, a common type used in household painting.) The extent of health effects of VOCs on humans will depend on many factors including level of exposure and length of time exposed and where they are exposed i.e. In this post, we will address what a volatile organic compound (VOC) is, the health effects of exposure to VOCs, the cosmetic and household products that emit VOCs, and how to help reduce and protect yourself and your family from them. Keep an eye out for these common symptoms of VOC exposure: Headaches Nausea Nose and throat irritation Skin rashes Vomiting What is a volatile organic compound? However, several VOCs are linked to a range of short- and long-term health risks. They can enter drinking water supplies from a variety of sources. There is a wide variety of volatile organic compounds. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are an important class of indoor air pollutants; with indoor concentrations generally higher than outdoors. Several studies suggest that exposure to VOCs may make symptoms worse in people who have asthma or are particularly sensitive to chemicals. floors, bed mattresses, play toys etc. Some of these VOCs are harmless but others can put human health in jeopardy. The emphasis is placed on commonly encountered VOCs that would have an effect on air quality. VOCs are a wide variety of chemicals, and their health effects are varied and still the subject of study. January 2018; DOI: 10.1007/978-981-10-7185-0_8. environmental health concerns and toxic chemicals where you live, work, and play The Tox Town website was discontinued as of October 1, 2020. General effects of exposure to VOCs include: irritation to the eyes, nose and throat; headaches; loss of coordination; nausea; and damage to the liver, kidney and central nervous system. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that VOCs are present in one-fifth of the nation’s water supplies. Many household items such as paints, polishes, and cleaners emit VOCs, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Health effects of VOC exposure range from simple irritation to respiratory paralysis. And, unfortunately, high concentrations of VOCs can cause both short- and long-term health effects. Headache, nausea, and dizziness may occur, as well as fatigue and shortness of breath. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short and long-term adverse health effects. First Online: 28 November 2017. Health effects of VOC exposure. Canada. VOCs such as formaldehyde and benzene are considered to be proven or probable human carcinogens in instances of long-term exposure (see table). Some VOCs and SVOCs are odorous and some are suspected causes of adverse health effects. Potential health effects of volatile organic compounds in drinking water . What are the health effects of VOCs and ozone? A volatile organic compound is a chemical compound in gas form. VOCs and Sensory Irritation Symptoms or Sick Building Syndrome Symptoms Sensory irritation symptoms, which include irritation of eyes, nose, throat, and skin, are frequently reported by occupants as linked to their periods of occupancy in specific buildings. When some VOCs are combined with sunlight, they form ozone -- a gas that's a major component of smog. Many companies are making the extra step to guarantee their products do not contain harmful ingredients such as VOCs, toxins, or known carcinogens. Health effects may include: Eye, nose and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination and nausea; damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system; Some organics can cause cancer in animals, some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans. For long-term exposure to low levels of VOCs, research is ongoing to better understand any health effects from these exposures. While the concentration of the VOCs sources could vary, it is important to learn about the danger it can pose to your wellbeing. Today, because of an increasing awareness about the known health hazards of VOCs, paint manufacturers are beginning to offer more low- and no-VOC paints. But what are the hazards of volatile organic compounds in paint. The suspected health effects cover a broad range including, but not limited to, sensory irritation symptoms, allergies and asthma, neurological and liver toxicity, and cancer. Common Signs or Symptoms of exposure to VOCs: Conjunctival Irritation; Nose and Throat issues; Headache ; Skin Allergy; Dyspnea; Nausea and Vomiting Epistaxis … Common household products containing VOCs include: … With broad commutability of pollutants, air pollution is a complicated issue that intimidates directly to human health … Advertisement. Advertisement. In book: Air Pollution and Control (pp.119-142) Project: Indoor … … Most adverse health effects happen when people are exposed to contaminated drinking water over a long period of time. Some of the immediate symptoms can include a runny nose, irritated eyes, headaches, nausea and low concentration. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are carbon-containing organic chemicals that get released into the air and can cause a variety of adverse health effects. Common Sources of VOCs . They include: Nausea, headaches, loss of coordination, irritation to eyes, nose and throat, and damage to kidneys, liver, or central nervous system. No-VOC paint, as regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, will have five or fewer grams of VOCs per liter of paint. VOC Health Effects. The risk of health effects from inhaling any chemical depends on how much is in the air, how long and how often a person breathes it in. Luckily, public awareness of exposure to these chemicals and the adverse effects they have on our health is growing. Most people are not affected by short-term exposure to the low levels of VOCs found in homes. Different VOCs have different health effects, and range from those that are highly toxic to those with no known health effect. In recent years, the health effects of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have attracted increasing attention. Removal of underground storage tank . The range of possible health effects of VOCs is quite broad, with the major effects including sensory, irritation and allergic effects, respiratory effects and carcinogenic effects’ (Reviews on Environmental Health). VOCs from Paints are up there on the list of most harmful toxins to humans, animals, plants and aquatic life. The health effects of exposure to VOCs in the non-industrial indoor environment range from sensory irritation at low/medium levels of exposure to toxic effects at high exposure levels. In fact, the EPA reports that concentrations of VOCs are typically much higher indoors than outdoors (up to 10 times higher). Health Canada classifies VOCs as organic compounds that have boiling points roughly in the range of 50 to 250 °C (122 to 482 °F). Please visit topics related to environmental health, safety, and toxicology on MedlinePlus, the NLM’s flagship website for health information for patients, families, and the general public. Ideally, you should aim to limit your use of products that generate VOCs and take safety measures when using them. 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