Cochrane & Associates, LLC

Volatile Organic Compounds in Homes can Increase Health Risks


Source: Cochrane & Associates, LLC

IAQ Index™ provides test kits to help identify volatile organic compounds from product off-gassing in homes, offices and schools.

Abingdon, MD, June 25th, 2012 -- Earlier this month, the published a report about a recent chemical fire at a manufacturing facility near Philadelphia.  According to the report, the fire consumed a large amount of the 1 million pounds of ethyl acrylate and butyl acrylate stored at the facility.  The owners of the plant performed air testing for volatile organic compound exposure outside of the plant both during the fire and after it was extinguished.


Disasters at chemical plants often make people in nearby areas consider their potential exposure to hazardous chemicals.  Many people don’t realize that many of these same chemicals found at manufacturing plants may already exist in their homes.


According to the Minnesota Department of Health, “Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a large group of carbon-based chemicals that easily evaporate at room temperature. While most people can smell high levels of some VOCs, other VOCs have no odor. Odor does not indicate the level of risk from inhalation of this group of chemicals. There are thousands of different VOCs produced and used in our daily lives.” 


VOCs are used in everything from common building materials to home and personal care products.  Some of these chemicals are known to cause short and long term health effects or even cancer.  “High levels of VOCs in indoor spaces occur more frequently than most people realize,” reported Bruce Jacobs, CIH, President of IAQ Index, an indoor air quality (IAQ) test kit manufacturer.  “Because VOCs are used in so many products and materials in all of our homes the only way to know if elevated levels are in a home is to have the air tested.  To help people test for VOCs, IAQ Index has developed a test kit that provides easily understood information about any VOCs found,” he continued.


To learn more about testing for volatile organic compounds or other indoor air quality (IAQ) contaminates, please visit IAQ Index at, email or call (888) 259-3883.


About IAQ Index

IAQ Index was developed by a Certified Industrial Hygienist with decades of experience dealing with indoor air quality issues.  IAQ Index was developed as a health-based, easy-to-understand, air quality index that is calculated from data generated for various parameters commonly measured during IAQ surveys.  The approach is similar to the EPA’s Air Quality Index that has been used historically to communicate the risks posed by common pollutants in the ambient air.

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