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Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) Are All Around Us

What Are Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs)?

Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) is a broad category of many different chemical compounds. VOCs are used as ingredients in many industrial and household products. For example, paints, varnishes, waxes, solvents, cleaners, disinfectants, cosmetics, degreasers, paint strippers, pesticides, building materials, and hobby products. Fuels also contain VOCs.

The present of VOCs in so many different products raises concerns about off-gassing and indoor air contamination. VOCs can be emitted as gases from various solid and liquid products. VOCs are emitted by products we use in daily life, and the concentrations of VOCs are consistently found to be higher indoors than outdoors. Facilities that contain and house large quantities of VOCs can be of concern, especially if there are spills and contamination events.

If VOCs contaminate groundwater, that groundwater can spread and create a contamination plume. Homes and businesses located above a VOC plume can be at risk of vapor intrusion, where VOCs rise up from the ground in a gas form and enter the indoor air. VOC-contaminated groundwater can also leach into aquifers that provide drinking water. Drinking water contaminated with VOCs can lead to illness or an increased risk of future injury.

Exposure to Certain VOCs May Cause Adverse Health Effects and Cancer

The likelihood that VOCs may cause illness or cancer will depend on the specific chemical compound, the level of a person’s exposure and the length of a person’s exposure. VOCs can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. Exposure to VOCs can also cause headaches, loss of coordination, and nausea. Certain VOCs can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system. The more immediate reactions, usually associated with short-term exposure to VOCs, include ear, nose, and throat irritation, as well as memory impairment. Some VOCs are known to be human carcinogens, meaning that studies have shown a causal connection between VOC exposure and the development of certain cancers. Other VOCs may be likely or probable human carcinogens.

The Toxic Injury Lawyers Fight for People and Communities Exposed to VOCs

The Toxic Injury Lawyers are a team of highly experienced and knowledgeable environmental attorneys who care about providing victims of toxic exposure with the legal help they need. If you have been injured by a hazardous substance, or are concerned for the safety of your family or community due to VOC pollution, call the Toxic Injury Lawyers. A member of our team will listen to your concerns and coordinate an appointment with one of our attorneys. Just call 732.355.1311 or submit your confidential case inquiry here to begin.