Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOC) are organic compounds that easily become vapors or gases that contain elements such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, fluorine, chlorine, bromine, sulfur or nitrogen.
The compounds are aldehydes (click here), alephatic (click here) and aromatic hydrocarbons (click here), alcohols (click here), ketones (click here), esters (click here) and halogenated compounds (click here). They are highly unstable and shed parts of the compound in the form of vapors.
There is a strong reason to monitor and improve on VOCs in our environment, including upper tropospheric ozone. These chemicals, when occurring indoors, are ten times more dangerous to human health. They can cause liver, kidney and central nervous damage resulting in headaches, loss of coordination and nausea. One of the first things physicians treating migraine headaches will ask is if the house is clear of VOC chemicals.
The best example of dangerous VOCs is formaldehyde; CH2O is the simplest of the aldehydes. Simplest and among the most dangerous.
There are no safe levels.
...Sources of formaldehyde
Formaldehyde is a common chemical that can be emitted from a number of products in
the home. Smoking, pressed wood, and particle board have all been shown to be sources
of formaldehyde. Higher formaldehyde levels are usually found in newer homes or
homes with new construction. The levels decrease over time. Formaldehyde levels also
increase with increases in temperature and humidity....
All people are at risk for exposure, including pregnant women, children and the elderly. There is no way to know if a substance or appliance is safe without testing and investigation. It is why the USA developed the FDA and why China has followed that example to protect it's people.
e-cigarettes can contribute to poor indoor air quality.
Example of potentially unregulated danger:
Nearly 500 brands and 7,700 flavors of e-cigarettes (click here) are on the market and none of them have been evaluated by the FDA. We don't know for sure what's in them. Studies have found toxic chemicals, including an ingredient used in antifreeze and formaldehyde in e-cigarettes. Because the FDA doesn't regulate these products, there aren't requirements around ingredient disclosure, warning labels or youth access restrictions....