These days everyone is concerned about the quality of their air. From the dangers of toxins, irritating pollen, and the Coronavirus, having a clean air supply is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. While air purifiers are great for removing particles from your space, the question remains: can they remove everything, and more importantly, can an air purifier rid VOCs?
We’ll discuss the different air purification technologies, how they work, and why VOCs are so harmful. But, first, what are VOCs?
What Are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)?
Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs, are gasses emitted from everyday household cleaning products with high vapor pressure, low water solubility. The majority of VOCs are artificially made industrial solvents such as:
- Fuel Oxygenates
VOCs are components of fuels, paint thinners, cleaning supplies, air fresheners, manufacturing materials, and pesticides. These standard products can release VOCs, which is why mixing products containing VOCs can have even more harmful effects on health and air quality as the chemicals are released into the air.
Although VOCs are found outside and can lead to health risks, there is more of a potential for severe problems from breathing unpurified air inside your home or office than there is outside. An early study concluded in 1985 by the EPA titled “Total Exposure Assessment Methodology (TEAM) Study” reported that over a dozen common organic pollutants were found in concentrations 2 to 5 times higher in indoor air than outside.
Given that VOCs may be found in everyday products, the question remains: are there health risks to being exposed to VOCs?
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Health Risks of Exposure to VOCs
VOCs can pose serious health risks to those suffering from breathing conditions such as asthma, compromised immune systems, or allergies. Even for people without these health problems, VOCs can cause:
- Skin reactions such as a rash or hives
If you are unaware if your office, home, industrial site, or workspace is exposed to VOCs, but people start to experience these symptoms, chances are, VOCs are airborne in your area. To ensure the health and safety of everyone, you’ll want to reduce your exposure and invest in a commercial-grade air purifier VOC removal system.
Reduce Exposure to VOCs
How widespread is VOC indoor pollution in the U.S.? So much that the EPA regards VOCs as one of the top five environmental concerns. It estimates VOC concentrations indoors range from 10 to 1000 times what you’re likely to encounter outdoors, making them a health hazard in most commercial and residential dwellings.
To reduce your exposure, you’ll want to ensure you always read labels carefully, never combine chemicals, and always use VOC releasing chemicals in a well-ventilated area. Other ways to reduce VOC exposure include:
- Don’t store open containers of products that can produce VOCs in unventilated areas
- Be especially cautious when using products that contain Formaldehyde
- Reduce exposure to pesticides
- Always read directions to household products
- If possible, use products outside
- Keep products out of reach of children and pets dander
- Invest in a VOC air purifier
Unfortunately, VOCs are nearly impossible to avoid. To protect building residents from harmful airborne toxins and VOCs, ensure you invest in the right air filtration system.
Do Air Purifiers Remove VOCs?
Air purifiers come in various shapes, sizes, styles, and technologies, but not all purifiers work the same. To tackle VOCs, pet dander, dust mites, viruses, bacteria, and more, you’ll need to ask more than “does a HEPA filter remove VOC”? For an efficient air purification system, there are several technology types that all work in different ways to clean your air of harmful toxins.
HEPA filters are perfect for removing large and small particles alike, such as dust, pollen, and pet dander (even COVID-19 carrying airborne particles). To be considered a true HEPA filter by the EPA, the filtration system must filter out at least 99.97% of particles that calculate at 0.3 microns and larger.
Both negative and positive ions are released into the air to trap particles, including VOCs, until they are too heavy to remain airborne particles. When the particles fall, they can be swept up or vacuumed along with dust, effectively removing the particles from your space.
This technology uses UV light to inactivate toxic particles in your air. Ultraviolet light technology is the best type of purifier for mold, bacteria, and viruses since it essentially disinfects the area the light touches.
Activated Carbon Filters
An activated carbon VOC air filter is specifically designed to remove harmful gasses and chemicals from a space. The VOCs get stuck to the outside of the VOC carbon filter, removing them from your room.
Just ensure you replace the filters regularly to avoid releasing them back into the air. Fortunately, activated carbon is relatively inexpensive; five lbs of activated carbon can be purchased from some online shops for as little as ten dollars.
So, with all of the above in mind…
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Benefits of Investing in a Commercial-Grade Air Purifier for VOCs
There are many reasons to invest in air purifiers for your home, office, schools, library, and more. VOC air purifiers in particular offer a range of benefits:
- Improve air quality
- Remove noxious odors
- Filter a harmful air pollutant
- Improve health
Unlike HVAC pre-filters, air purifiers are specifically designed to trap and destroy airborne contaminants. Another advantage is that commercial-grade purifiers employ filters with large surface areas, enhancing airflow and reducing the need to clean them.
With the dangers we face today, from COVID to pollution to gas being released from everyday items, having a quality commercial-grade air purifier can help protect the people in your space from potential health problems.
Do HEPA Filters Remove VOCs?
While there is no HEPA filter for VOC, because VOC particles are typically smaller than 0.3 microns, investing in a system such as the CleanAir Tower that combines technology will allow you to enjoy clean air quality all day.
CleanAir Tower From AirFixture
With UV light filtration, bi-polar ionization, and HEPA filter, our VOC air purifier can filter out most airborne particles. A high air flow rate makes it ideal for offices, large rooms, and commercial spaces alike.
The added benefit of our systems is that they’re portable. Since filtration systems work best in areas of high concentration of odor and pollutants, you’ll be able to move your air purifier to the spaces you need them most.
Contact Airfixture today to discover how the CleanAir Tower can clean your air, remove odors, trap VOCs, and protect you against harmful viruses such as COVID-19.