Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are harmful gaseous chemicals emitted by various products and materials we have in our homes. Concentrations of these chemicals can be 10 to 100 times higher indoors than outdoors. Many VOCs cannot be detected by smell, though can still trigger or exacerbate asthma attacks. The VOC air quality test can detect concentrations of emissions from these common building products and conditions…

  • Paints & varnishes

  • Moth balls

  • Solvents

  • Building materials

  • Pesticides

  • Gasoline

  • Fuel oil

  • Cooking oils, etc.

  • Cleaning supplies

  • Carpeting

  • Wallpaper

  • Vinyl flooring

  • Dry-cleaning

  • Candles

  • Growing mold

  • Copiers & printers

  • Upholstery & fabrics

  • Glues & adhesives

  • Permanent markers

  • Craft materials

  • Cosmetics

  • Hair care products

  • Air fresheners

  • Disinfectants

  • Furniture (pressed wood)

  • Vehicle exhaust

  • Tobacco smoke

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the European Union (EU) suggest that levels greater than 500 ng/L (Nano grams per liter) of VOCs could pose a health hazard in homes. However, data from thousands of homes tested show the median value is 1,200 ng/L - more than twice the recommended level!

Even slightly elevated levels of these airborne chemicals could produce health concerns for people - particularly young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those who suffer from allergies and asthma.

While all VOCs have the potential to be harmful, there are a few common VOCs that can be particularly dangerous, and are emitted from a number of products in our homes. These common VOCs are Formaldehyde, benzene, and phenol. They are classified as Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
For a complete list of all 188 HAPs, click here to visit the EPA website.

WHAT DO WE LOOK AT?

The sampling tube traps airborne VOCs common to homes, including VOCs from actively growing mold.

WHO SHOULD HAVE A VOC AIR QUALITY TEST?

If anyone in your home has sensitivities, allergies, asthma, small children, elderly, or anyone who has a chronic respiratory illness, you should have a VOC air quality test done. Home buyers can have the test done during the home inspection. Even new construction homes can have high VOCs from the various building products.  

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DO A VOC AIR QUALITY TEST?

It takes 2 hrs for a proper air sample and multiple samples can be taken simultaneously for larger homes or for multiple locations.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECEIVE THE RESULTS?

VOC air quality test results are received between 5-7 business days – though expedited results are possible for pre-purchase inspections.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

One $250 sample covers up to 2,000 sqft of a typical home. Additional samples are $150 each and necessary for larger homes or for multiple floors or locations.

WHAT OTHER TESTS CAN BE DONE IN CONJUNCTION WITH A VOC AIR QUALITY TEST?

Formaldehyde is a common VOC and respiratory irritant emitted from new wood and building products and can be sampled in 20-30 minutes.

CAN WE DO CONDOS OR MULTI-UNIT BUILDINGS?

Yes, we can do both!

HERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT FACTS TO KNOW:

1.    The USEPA has reported that home air can have 100 times more chemicals inside than outside.

2.    The USEPA has also reported that adults and kids now spend most of their time indoors (90%).

3.    The CDC has reported that 20+ million adults have asthma, and the National Asthma Survey has

reported that asthma is the most prevalent chronic disease among children. These numbers continue to increase annually, suggesting that the indoor environment plays a contributing role in this trend.

4.    Mold growth can be present within the home and be hidden behind walls or underneath carpeting or flooring.

5.    The use of Formaldehyde is prevalent in certain building materials and the concentration of this known cancer-causing agent can be many times the safe level.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

YOUR PROPERTY INSPECTION AWAITS.

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