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Detecting TVOCs: Total Volatile Organic Compounds are dangerous and inhaling them can be harmful to your health. The effects of TVOCs will depend on their chemical makeup, the amount of exposure, and the surrounding ventilation.
Detecting TVOCs (Total Volatile Organic Compounds)
TVOC is a grouping of a wide range of organic chemical compounds to simplify reporting when these are present in ambient air or emissions. Many substances, such as natural gas, could be classified as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are reserved for characterisation of such substances in polluted air, that is, VOCs generally refer to vapours of gases given off by compounds rather than the liquid phase.
VOCs are of concern as both indoor air pollutants and as outdoor air pollutants. However, the emphasis of that concern outdoors is different from indoors. The main concern indoors is the potential for VOCs to adversely impact the health of people that are exposed. While VOCs can also be a health concern outdoors, EPA regulates VOCs outdoors mainly because of their ability to create photochemical smog under certain conditions.
– EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
Where are you most likely to come into contact with TVOCs
Emissions of TVOCs stem from many sources. Examples of these include building materials, maintenance equipment, and custodial products. Generally, TVOCs are diluted by ventilation systems and have little to no smell. However, many have a detectable order at their source. Formaldehyde is one of the most common VOC, a colourless gas with a sharp smell. It’s common in building materials like plywood, particle boards, and glue. Other common sources of TVOCs include:
Consumer products – This is a big one. Emissions of TVOCs come from a wide range of products and household goods.
Transportation sources – Vehicle exhausts and fuel tanks produce TVOCs.
Natural sources – TVOCs occur naturally in a wide range of processes.
Sources of indoor TVOCs can include:
- Floor wax
Everything you need to know about detecting TVOCs
Our Gas Factsheets which is available to download below provides you with key information on the exposure limits and the locations of where potentially harmful gases can occur. We also share information on gas detection monitoring techniques and equipment that can help you manage gas detection in the workplace, for worker and site safety.
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Synonyms: total volatile organic carbon
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