In this article we will highlight the best air purifiers for VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and formaldehyde removal. Continue reading below to learn more about the health risks of breathing in these gases and chemicals.
OV200 Air PurifierLight, compact, and convenient, the OV200 air cleaner should not be underestimated. This room air purifier, which sits only 23 inches tall, 13 inches wide, and seven inches deep, can actually clean the air in a space measuring roughly 400 square feet. With a compact size, it can conveniently fit in bedrooms, small offices, and even compact dorm rooms. With top-quality filters and world-class motors, it can still remove over 99% of all airborne particles that pass through.
Although the OV200 is small, we have designed the machine to hold a three-stage filtration system. This means the air first enters a per-filter stage, which removes larger particulate matter like airborne dust and mold spores. Once the pre-filter stage is complete, the air passes through a HEPA filter.
Although the activated carbon in the OV200 is not specifically treated for formaldehyde, it can still help and filter VOCs. This HEPA filter removes a large percentage of air pollution, but the air still needs to pass through a carbon filter. This carbon filter traps chemicals, gases, organic compounds and small particles that may have escaped the HEPA filter. This makes the OV200 an excellent choice for a smaller sized space.
What are Volatile Organic Compounds and Why are they Harmful?Commonly called VOCs, volatile organic compounds are a broad class of organic gases that have no strict or specific definition. This is such a broad category that there are over 10,000 individual gases that can be classified as VOCs depending on the overall definition being used. Many products, including building materials, cleaners, and hair products use chemicals that can be classified as VOCs.
The chemicals are released into the air through a process known as off-gassing. Off-gassing occurs when these chemicals slowly escape off the product and become air pollution. VOC emissions can be quick, or it can occur slowly depending on many factors. The product itself will determine the length of off-gassing, as will the temperature where the material is located. In most cases, it’s believed that it occurs over a period of roughly two to eight weeks. The ethanol in hand sanitizer, for example, off-gasses very quickly, while other VOCs, such as the chemicals in moth balls, evaporate much slower. Generally, higher temperatures accelerate off-gassing.
Common Sources in Your HomeThere are numerous sources of VOCs in your home, and you may be surprised to learn that many products of different varieties contribute to poor indoor air quality.
For example, many paints and stains hold VOC's. Paint on walls and furniture, as well as wood stains and other chemicals commonly release VOCs. Wood preservatives are also a contributor.
Many sprays hold VOCs as well. Aerosol sprays, cleaners and disinfectants also hold these chemicals. Ironically, air fresheners often hold VOCs, so you can actually make the air worse (even though it smells better) by using these products.
Moth repellants are another source of the chemicals. If you have any stored fuel in your garage, they are likely leaking VOCs. Numerous automotive products are carriers of these harmful chemicals.
Hobby supplies, such as paints and paint strippers also hold volatile organic compounds. Glues and adhesives will often have these chemicals, creating problems for people who have indoor hobbies like crafts or model-making.
If you have your clothes dry-cleaned on a routine basis, you should be aware that dry-cleaned clothing often holds VOCs.
Building materials with paints and preservatives often hold VOCs, and the furnishings in your home may be leaking these compounds, especially if they are new. Office equipment also releases VOCs. This can include copiers and printers, as well as correction fluids such as white-out. Carbonless copy paper is also a common source for this form of indoor air pollution.
As you can see, there are numerous sources of VOCs, and, as we’ll learn these chemicals also have many potential health risks.
Why are they Harmful?As we’ll learn the impacts of VOCs bring many health issues, harming people in a variety of different ways.
When you are exposed to airborne VOCs, the effects can seem rather mild, at least at first. It is common to have irritation to the eyes, nose, or throat. If the exposure is prolonged, symptoms can become progressively more serious, including the loss of coordination, headaches, and nausea. Eventually, damage to internal organs can occur; livers, kidneys, and the central nervous system can all be effected by VOCs.
There is significant scientific research that supports this claim. One study from South Korea looked at the occurrence of cancer in connection with a person’s proximity to known sources of VOC contaminants. The results showed that cancer may be more common among people who inhale VOCs.
The overall message is clear: VOCs are bad for our health and should be avoided in any way possible. Fortunately, there are many solutions, including changes to your household and the addition of the best air purifier for VOCs.
How to Avoid VOCsVOCs come from a variety of sources, so the best way to avoid exposure is to first reduce or eliminate these items from your home. There are many low-VOC products that are excellent alternatives to paints and wood stains. You can also find cleaning supplies that are low on VOCs, giving you a clean alternative when it’s time to tidy up the home.
In general, fresh outdoor air is healthier than indoor air; this tends to be true whether you have VOCs in the home or not. To remove these chemicals, open windows and allow the outdoor breeze to sweep them away. Allowing for as much cross-ventilation as possible will reduce VOCs in your home.
If you have any leftover products from painting or staining, remove them as quickly as possible and safely dispose of them. If you are building a home, make sure the contractor you choose is properly experienced with safe materials so you have fewer chemicals floating in your indoor air.
Finally, you should use an air purifier for VOCs. A high-quality air purifier with HEPA air filters and activated carbon, which is great for VOCs and ozone removal will be able to reduce the amount of chemicals in your home, providing cleaner air for everyone. This is especially important when the windows need to be shut, such as the winter or during pollen season. If you are looking for formaldehyde removal, make sure the carbon filter has been specially treated to address this.
What is Formaldehyde and Why is it HarmfulFormaldehyde is a common source of indoor air pollution and one of the most prevalent VOCs.
What is Formaldehyde?Formaldehyde is a gas that is completely colorless, which makes it uniquely dangerous because it is hard to detect by sight. However, the chemical does have strong odors, making it easier for people to know if there is an issue with air quality.
Formaldehyde is used in a variety of building materials and household products, making it a common source of health problems. Materials made with formaldehyde can release the chemical as a gas or vapor into the air. It’s not just household products that hold this dangerous VOC; automotive exhaust also contains formaldehyde.
Throughout the 1970’s a form of insulation was used that contained formaldehyde, so homes built with this material could likely contain the chemical. If your house uses gas stoves, wood-burning stoves, or kerosene heaters, you may also have formaldehyde as part of your indoor air.
Tobacco smoke is another known source of formaldehyde, and both smokers and non-smokers can be subject to the airborne chemical.
Formaldehyde is also used to create a variety of household products. Although the levels may be lower, formaldehyde is found in some types of personal care products, including lotions, shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, and fingernail polishes. Using these products on a regular basic could raise the level of formaldehyde in your air, reducing your overall indoor air quality and eliminating harmful odors.
Why is Formaldehyde Harmful?There are many health issues that stem from exposure to formaldehyde and other chemical odors. This chemical has been linked to a variety of problems, including lung and breathing problems. People who are exposed to formaldehyde often experience irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat, and the issue can cause occupational asthma, although this issue may be relatively rare.
Most frightening, there is a strong link between formaldehyde and cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, the laboratory studies have demonstrated a link between exposure to formaldehyde and cancer in lab rats, which raises the obvious concern of formaldehyde and cancer in humans.
Clearly there is a need to avoid formaldehyde and VOCs in your home. But what’s the best strategy?
While there are many steps you should take, one of the first is to purchase an air purifier for VOCs and formaldehyde.
Find the Best VOC Air Purifiers from OransiYour family deserves clean, healthy air, and it all starts with reliable air purification. Learn more about the selection of air purifiers available from Oransi and you’ll get top-quality performance to remove VOCs, formaldehyde, dust, dander, and a wide variety of air pollution, including other organic compounds!
If you have allergens or want to reduce indoor pollutants, you need a top-quality air purifier from Oransi!