Formaldehyde and VOCs in Your Home: What You Need to Know

Formaldehyde and VOCs in Your Home: What You Need to Know

Formaldehyde and other VOCs (volatile organic compounds) can create serious health issues. Here’s how to mitigate the risk.

Whether you feel secure after locking the front door at night, or have a high-tech home security system replete with cameras and sensors, it’s likely that you take proactive steps to make sure that you and your loved ones are safe from harm. But beyond a break-in, there’s a risk lurking in your home that you might not be aware of: VOCs which can cause serious health issues, including cancer.

What are VOCs?

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are gases which originate from liquids or solids. Many common household items contain chemicals which may become VOCs. They can emit VOCs while they are in use, and in some cases, even when they are being stored.

Use an air freshener in your bathroom? A spray when cleaning your stovetop? Got some leftover paint cans stored in your garage? According to the EPA, some common sources for VOCs include:

  • paints, paint strippers and other solvents
  • aerosol sprays
  • cleansers and disinfectants
  • moth repellents and air fresheners
  • stored fuels and automotive products
  • dry-cleaned clothing

The vast majority of us have at least a few of these items at home. And that means that at this very moment, you could be exposing yourself and your loved ones to the negative health effects of VOCs.

Formaldehyde is an especially common VOC. It is present in pressed-wood products, glues and adhesives, permanent-press fabric, and certain insulation material. It can also be generated by smoking or cooking.

The American Cancer Society states that high levels of the chemical have been linked to cases of cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) officially classifies formaldehyde as “carcinogenic to humans.”

VOC indoor air pollution: a hidden risk

While less serious than the heightened risk of cancer, VOCs can cause day-to-day difficulties that can majorly affect your quality of life. VOCs negatively impact indoor air quality, with the gases triggering various health issues.

The American Lung Association reports that long term exposure to formaldehyde and other VOCs in your home can cause a number of adverse reactions, such as:

  • eye, nose, and throat irritation
  • difficulty breathing
  • nausea
  • central nervous system and organ damage

The link between poor indoor air quality and health issues, ranging from respiratory issues to long-term chronic illness, is clear. And VOCs are a major contributor to poor indoor air, with the EPA estimating levels of the gases inside as being up to 5 times higher than outside the home.

So how can you reduce formaldehyde in your home and make sure you and your loved ones are safe?

Eliminating VOCs (including formaldehyde) from your home

In a test conducted by researchers from reputable air testing service AirMD, Tadiran’s Air Care O2 air purifier was proven to significantly reduce the levels of formaldehyde in a space. The test found that the solution’s unique hydrogen peroxide cleansing system is particularly effective against formaldehyde, especially when compared with traditional air cleaners.

Leveraging water molecules already present in the air, the device converts H2O to hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a super effective cleanser; in previous tests, the Air Care O2 was found to eliminate viruses, bacteria and mold at up to 99.999%.

During a field experiment conducted in an office building, the air in a workspace was measured before, during, and after using the Air Care O2 device. Researchers measured initial levels of formaldehyde in the air between 95 to 110 ppb (parts per billion.)

But just hours after the hydrogen peroxide air purifier was turned on, the levels of formaldehyde in the room plunged to 52 to 58 ppb – a nearly 50 percent reduction! The test found that not only were levels of VOCs negligible after operating the device, it also provided a meaningful reduction in most of the hazardous VOCs.

AIR CARE O2 is a plug-and-play solution that easily fits into your existing HVAC unit, instantly transforming your home air conditioner into an active air purifier.
If you’d like to learn more about the best hydrogen peroxide air treatment solution for reducing VOCs in your home, get in touch with us! We’d love to guide you in your search and how you can keep your loved ones safe, breathing indoor air of the highest possible quality.