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IAQ Testing Laboratory

Category Press Release
Publish Date 4/23/2018
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Volatile Chemical Products Now a Significant Source of VOCs in Urban Areas
Introduction EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides testing services and sampling supplies to identify volatile organic compounds to protect building occupants from exposure risks.

Cinnaminson, NJ, April 23rd, 2018


In February a new study was published in the journal Science, called “Volatile chemical products emerging as largest petrochemical source of urban organic emissions”. The study looks at the shift of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that traditionally came from transportation sources to the growing percentage of VOCs that now come from products found in and around homes and buildings.

The abstract to the study states, “A gap in emission inventories of urban volatile organic compound (VOC) sources, which contribute to regional ozone and aerosol burdens, has increased as transportation emissions in the United States and Europe have declined rapidly. A detailed mass balance demonstrates that the use of volatile chemical products (VCPs) - including pesticides, coatings, printing inks, adhesives, cleaning agents, and personal care products - now constitutes half of fossil fuel VOC emissions in industrialized cities.”

VOCs include a wide range of chemicals, some of which may have short-term and long-term adverse health effects. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “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 EPA also states that concentrations of many VOCs are up to ten times higher indoors than outdoors.

“This study highlights the many sources of VOCs that are all around us in our homes, schools and offices that most people don’t realize could be causing respiratory issues and other exposure concerns,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “There are thousands of VOCs and many of them are routinely used in building materials, furnishings and consumer products that impact our indoor air quality and eventually the outdoor air, especially in heavily populated urban areas as this study shows.” 

To identify VOCs, EMSL Analytical offers testing services and all of the sampling supplies necessary. If test results indicate the presence of high VOC concentrations, steps can then be taken to reduce exposure risks.

To learn more about EMSL’s VOC testing or other indoor air quality (IAQ) services and monitoring instruments, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 43 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations.  In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.
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