VOC Monitoring

Volatile Organic Compounds Monitoring

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that both vaporize into air and dissolve in water. VOCs are pervasive in daily life, because they’re used in industry, agriculture, transportation, and day-to-day activities around the home. Once released into groundwater, many VOCs are persistent and can migrate to drinking-water supply wells.

The Importance of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) Monitoring

VOCs are gases that are emitted by certain liquids and solids. VOCs are bad for health, some have short term while others have long lasting ill-effects. To make matters worse, VOC concentrations are 10 times higher indoors than outdoors and several products that are easily available in the market emit this harmful compound. 

The Health Effects of VOC

Per the EPA Health effects may include:

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Headaches, loss of coordination and nausea
  • Damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system
  • Some organics can cause cancer in animals, some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.

Symptoms of VOC Exposure

  • conjunctival irritation
  • nose and throat discomfort
  • headache
  • allergic skin reaction
  • dyspnea
  • declines in serum cholinesterase levels
  • nausea
  • emesis
  • epistaxis
  • fatigue
  • dizziness

The ability of organic chemicals to cause health effects varies greatly from those that are highly toxic, to those with no known health 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

Examples of VOC

VOCs have been used extensively in the United States since the 1940s. VOCs are common components or additives in many commercial and household products, including gasoline, diesel fuel, other petroleum-based products, carpets, paints, varnishes, glues, spot removers, and cleaners. Industrial uses include the manufacturing of automobiles, electronics, computers, wood products, adhesives, dyes, rubber products, and plastics, and VOCs are used in the synthesis of other organic compounds. VOCs also are used in dry cleaning, in refrigeration units, and in the degreasing of equipment and home septic systems. VOCs are present in some personal care products such as perfumes, deodorants, insect repellents, skin lotions, and pharmaceuticals. Some VOCs also have been applied as fumigants in agriculture and in households to control insects, worms, and other pests.

VOC Monitoring Instruments

Photo Ionization Detectors (PID) measure volatile organic compounds and other gases in large concentrations, and Flame Ionization Detectors (FID) measure analyte in a gas stream and are frequently used in gas chromatography. Request a quote on our wide array of PID/FID rental equipment to monitor and analyze air quality. Simply click the “add to quote” button on the product you like and fill out our form for a quick response.

Combustible Gas Leak Detector with Pump