Construction Industry VOCs

VOC Detection in the Construction Industry

In the construction industry, various building materials can become a source of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.

From insulation to wood panels, numerous building materials emit toxic compounds. Pollutants from floors, ceilings and walls have a negative impact on the indoor air quality of buildings. Common hazardous substances emitted from building materials include formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, phenol, glycol ethers and methylene chloride. Sources of VOC exposure in building materials are separated into two categories: solid building materials and liquid building materials. VOCs are found in natural woods, plywood, strand board, building partitions, adhesives, sealants, paint, mold release compounds and modified mortars.

Prolonged exposure to VOCs can produce adverse health effects to personnel in the construction industry. These health problems can range from minor to major–including asthma, skin irritation, headaches, nausea, confusion, eye irritation, cancer and death. Unfortunately, the effects of VOCs can vary considerably from person to person. Some may suffer multiple symptoms, others may have no apparent effect. Either way ingestion of VOCs are harmful and should be avoided whenever possible. While not all organic compounds are classified as VOCs, adequate air quality monitoring is necessary to improve the environmental and health conditions throughout the construction industry. Gas detection equipment is essential to properly monitor and detect the present gases on-site.

ION Science offers a range of both portable and fixed VOC detectors, like the Tiger. The Tiger handheld VOC detector provides a dynamic detection range of 1 parts per billion (ppb) to 20,000 parts per million (ppm). It offers the widest measurement range of any VOC instrument on the market. With its patented humidity and contamination resistant PID technology, the Tiger optimally operates in humid and contaminated environments, while providing fast and accurate readings in just two seconds.


To learn more about the Tiger for the construction industry, contact ION Science at E: or T: +44 (0) 1763 208 503.