Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors and are emitted by a wide array of products and processes.

Organic chemicals are widely used as ingredients in a variety of industries, such as plants, factories, pharmaceuticals and more. Depending on the process used to create the end product or function, various concentrations of VOCs can be emitted into breathable air for workers and result in adverse health effects, which may include:

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Headaches, loss of coordination and nausea
  • Damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system

Depending on the VOC emitted, some processes and procedures are suspected to result in cancer. Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include:

  • Conjunctival irritation
  • Nose and throat discomfort
  • Headache
  • Allergic skin reaction
  • Dyspnea
  • Declines in serum cholinesterase levels
  • Nausea
  • Emesis
  • Epistaxis
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

The organic chemicals used in production and other processes vary, so the health effects also vary greatly from those that are highly toxic to those with no known effect. As with other pollutants, the extent and nature of the health effect will depend on many factors including level of exposure and length of time exposed. Among the immediate symptoms that some people have experienced soon after exposure to some organics include:

  • Eye and respiratory tract irritation
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Visual disorders and memory impairment

Pioneers in gas sensing technology, ION Science has over 30 years of industry experience designing, manufacturing, and supplying PID gas sensors, gas detection instruments, and leak detectors for a wide range of industries and applications. Our sensor technology and gas detection instruments are designed and developed by a talented in-house team that keeps safety for sites and workers the number one priority.

Our array of gas detection instruments for a variety of potentially toxic work environments streams together to provide customers with solutions to combat VOCs within the workspace, specialized for your specific application. Our fixed, portable and personal detectors meet rigorous requirements and standards set to ensure optimum safety. To learn more information about products offered by ION Science for gas and leak detection, view our products page. For more information about gas detection systems for VOCs within your application, other detection inquiries or if you have a question for us, contact ION Science today.