Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals that contain a high vapour pressure at room temperature. Some VOCs are hazardous to human health or may cause harm to the environment – and while they are not acutely toxic, long-term exposure to high levels of VOCs may result in chronic health effects, one such example is the case of formaldehyde which likely at high concentration especially post renovation. Many household products around us are constant sources of VOCs, they’re abundant in paints, solvents, aerosol sprays, cleansers, disinfectants, moth repellents, air fresheners, dry-cleaned clothing and pesticides. These products can release organic compounds while you are using them and to some degree even when they are merely stored.
Inhaling them for prolonged periods of time can irritate the eyes, nose and throat, cause nausea and difficulty in breathing, overtime it can damage the central nervous system as well as other organs in the body. In severe cases, VOCs can also cause cancer in humans – the health effects caused by VOCs vary depending on the concentration and length of exposure to the chemicals. Some people may be more sensitive than others, such as those who suffer from asthma or have a history of asthma attacks.
However, where there is a problem there is also a solution. There are multiple ways to lower the levels of VOCs in your home post renovation. It is important to be mindful of the products being used right from when they are being purchased. As known, prevention is better than cure, hence keep a lookout for “Singapore Green Label” while sourcing paints and building supplies before purchasing them. Buying only as much as it is needed for any project and ensuring that any leftover or unused products are disposed of safely would effectively decrease the VOCs levels in your home as well.
Keeping your home smoke-free can ensure health as well, given that tobacco smoke contains VOCs among other carcinogens. Ventilating your home out, and avoiding dry cleaned clothes to sit indoors, making sure they are aired out before utilising them etc, are a few steps that would avoid unnecessary health hazards. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
One common VOCs which pertains our home is formaldehyde, that is a colourless chemical with a strong odour (which some may describe as “pickle-like”). Formaldehyde is often used in manufacturing a wide range of products including pressed-wood, adhesives, fabrics, and insulation materials. In homes, the main sources of formaldehyde are much likely to be pressed wood products made using adhesives. Pressed wood products made for indoor usage include: plywood, blockboard, particles board and MDF, which are used as cabinetry materials, furniture and drawer fronts and etc. These can contain a higher resin-to-wood ratio. As a result, high levels of formaldehyde can easily be emitted into your home over a long period of time, from curating simple interiors. Your home can be the one negatively affecting your indoor air quality especially when it is not regulated.
In this day and age, people spend more time indoors and are exposed to influences as a result of modern lifestyles and settings. New materials and construction methods which lead to further exposure to formaldehyde can also increase the risks of allergies. If left untreated, these seemingly “trivial” issues can worsen over time. Some turn to formaldehyde removal services to reduce the formaldehyde levels in their home but it does not solve the issue at it’s root cause. Especially when formaldehyde is the present in all the raw materials itself, used to build the interiors of the house.
Things are hence done differently at Ecubespace, we aim to minimise these harmful and negative impacts as much as possible by firstly being aware and of the importance of indoor air quality and taking action. We work hand in hand with EGGER, our partner for wood-base materials, as they intensively test the emissions of their boards and also have them measured by independent institutes. Materials from EGGER are considered the ones of the safest kind and that is precisely how, we ensure that you feel safe in your home, from it’s core. Using our services not only provides a healthier living environment but allows you to live worry- free as you do not have to take everyday action against formaldehyde.