How VOCs are harmful to our health

What is VOC?

VOC stands for “Volatile Organic Compound”, which is a common name for volatile organic compounds. Another form of VOC name is TVOC. They have very low boiling points and are easily released from products containing them as vapors or gases. The source of this substance can be man-made or natural. As we all know, some are harmless to health, while others are toxic to humans. 

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VOCs are everywhere, including common household items found in our home.

Some common VOC compounds include formaldehyde, benzene, perchlorethylene, etc. They are found in many consumer products such as tobacco, glues, paints, dry cleaning solutions, wood preservatives, bleaches, laundry detergents. , disinfectants, air fresheners, building materials, printers, copiers, pesticides, etc.

How do VOCs affect human health?

VOCs – Volatile organic compounds are almost everywhere in the air. Some are harmless to humans and some can cause respiratory or eye, nose and throat related problems with overexposure. More serious can cause damage to organs such as the central nervous system, liver and kidneys. VOCs are even considered carcinogens with high levels of long-term exposure. Children and asthma patients are more susceptible to the side effects of this compound. 

As reported by the American Lung Association, VOCs affect the lungs and respiratory tract, weakening the muscles. Some chemicals found in poor quality paint have harmful effects on the fetus. Therefore, society’s increasing concern about safety and health has affected the construction industry, creating a new trend that means reaching a “green building”.

How harmful are VOCs in paint products?

In the current Vietnamese market, many paints that are harmful to health and the living environment are still being used to paint furnitures, houses, workplaces, high-rise buildings, high-class apartments, etc. Paints with very high VOC content such as oil-based paints including Polyurethane (PU) paint, Nitro Cellulose (NC) paint. Until today, there are still many well-known paint brands producing oil-based paints which is toxic to human health and polluting the environment.

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Many studies show that the amount of VOCs inside a home can be 10 times higher than outside, and sometimes up to more than 1,000 times higher after a new coat of paint is applied to the walls.

VOC should become the main concern when deciding to buy paint or furniture. Other than aesthetic factor, health and safety factors shall become the top concern of vulnerable people – especially elderly, children, and expectant mothers.

Why are Biochem water-based paints environmentally friendly?

Biochem water-based paint has a much lower volatile organic component (VOC < 130g/L) than conventional solvent based paints (VOC ≥ 300g/L). Lower VOCs means less harmfull to Ozone layer. Therefore, Biochem water-based wood coating is cleaner and more enviromentally friendly.

Biochem water-based wood paint – Pioneer of “clean” paint.

Biochem water-based is free of common toxic substances such as heavy metals, azo, aromatic solvents, formaldehyde, isocyanates and PVC synthetic resins. Therefor, Biochem water-based paint is able to meet international standards of Food Safety, including Japanese Food Safety and Hygiene standards.

Above is useful information to help you answer the question “What is VOC?”. Hopefully, it will help you in the process of choosing a safe and healthy furniture paint. For any information that needs to be answered and helped, please contact Biochem’s consulting team.

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