What Are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)?

“Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are potentially dangerous gasses that are easily emitted at room temperature. Many common household materials and products contain VOC’s, such as paints and cleaning products.”

Some common VOCs include acetone, benzene, ethylene glycol, formaldehyde, methylene chloride, perchloroethylene, toluene and xylene.

VOCs can cause health effects and impact the environment. Studies have found that concentrations of VOCs are significantly higher indoors than outdoors. The level of organic pollutants is two to five times higher inside homes than outside regardless of whether the home is located in an urban or rural area.


How do VOCs impact your health?

There are numerous short term and long term health effects associated with exposure to Voc’s – including:

  • Irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat;
  • Damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system;
  • Nausea;
  • Headaches and dizziness;
  • Loss of coordination
  • Visual impairment and memory loss.
  • Some VOCs such as benzene and formaldehyde are proven carcinogens.


How do VOCs effect the environment?
VOC’s negatively effect the environment in two ways:

  1. VOCs react with nitrogen oxides and create ozone molecules, they also create fine particulates. These are pollutants that contribute to the creating of smog. Which can effect local flora and fauna.
  2. VOCs are also a contributor to acid rain. Acid rain can kill aquatic wildlife and wash away important nutrients from the soil. Acid rain also releases aluminum, which can harm animals and trees.VOCs are released by many different sources, many of which are common use products. Some of the most common sources of VOCs include:
  • Aerosol sprays;
  • Adhesives
  • Pesticides;
  • Wood preservatives;
  • Paint and paint strippers;
  • Disinfectants and cleansers;
  • Air fresheners;
  • Stored fuels and automotive products;
  • Dry-cleaned clothing;
  • Office equipment such as copiers and printers;
  • Gasoline;
  • Wood burning;
  • Diesel emissions



How can I reduce the amount of VOCs emitted, protect myself & offer a healthier solution?

Increase ventilation when using products that emit VOCs.

Do not store opened containers of unused paints and similar materials in populated areas.

Be mindful of what products you use: Many products contain VOCs that can be damaging to your health and the environment. Consider using low VOC alternatives when choosing the products you work with. Low VOC products can minimise the health effects on yourself, your applicators and your clients. Whilst also protecting the environment. RLA’s new Hybrid range of flooring adhesives are low VOC and safe to use options.

RLA provide a wide range of low VOC adhesives for numerous applications and industries.

If you want to make a offer a safer product & stand out above the competition by offering a safer solution– talk to your RLA representative on how we can provide you a safer, low VOC, option.