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Reducing Exposure to VOCs in Your Home

Updated: Mar 7

VOCs are invisible chemicals that can be emitted from paint products, building supplies, and even new furniture, which can cause symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, visual and respiratory impairment, and memory loss. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that indoor VOC levels can be up to two to five times higher than outdoor levels, and stripping paint during a home project can increase it to 1,000 times higher. However, there are ways to reduce exposure to VOCs. Sustainable furniture, organic mattresses, and nontoxic rugs are examples of eco-friendly alternatives. Additionally, products like VOC-free paints and eco-friendly removable wallpapers are available. Regulations and laws around VOCs differ from country to country, and it's important to be aware of a product's chemical composition. Brands offering zero-VOC paint do not add VOC chemicals to their mixtures, resulting in a product that might only have trace amounts if any. VOCs can be present in the colorants even if they are not present in a base paint mixture. If you're concerned about reducing your exposure to toxins, the

offers an app that allows you to scan barcodes of products and get a readout of their toxicity level. It's also recommended to conduct your own research by checking a product's Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for a list of chemicals used.

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Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. WHMIS is a system designed to provide information on hazardous materials used in Canadian workplaces. WHMIS training to manage Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) is an effective way for professionals to learn how to handle and manage hazardous chemicals in the workplace. This type of training is crucial for those who work with VOCs, as they can pose serious health risks if not handled properly. With WHMIS training, professionals can learn how to identify, store, handle, and dispose of VOCs safely and effectively, reducing the risk of exposure to themselves and others. Additionally, WHMIS training can help professionals comply with regulations and laws surrounding the handling and use of hazardous chemicals, ensuring a safe and healthy work environment.

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