You’ve just had a cleaning service transform your office. It smells wonderful, and everything is sparkling. But do you know what products the cleaners used, and if they are safe?
It’s a really important question to ask, because the use of cleaning products with high levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in your workplace can be a potential trigger for a number of health issues, including allergic reactions.
What are VOCs?
The federal Department of Environment defines Volatile Organic Compounds as a large and diverse group of substances, including hydrocarbons, oxygenates and halocarbons, that readily evaporate at room temperature. The groups differ based on the boiling point of each compound. Common examples of VOCs include formaldehyde and benzene. VOCs can be found in a variety of products such as paint, glues, paint thinners, stripping agents and, of course, in cleaning solutions.
Why are VOCs so bad?
VOCs have differing levels of toxicity, and not all of them are actually bad or harmful. In fact, some VOCs even occur naturally. Whether a VOC is harmful depends on its toxicity level and the concentration. When used outdoors, VOCs can disperse easily, but in an indoor environment, concentrations can build up and become a hazard to health.
What sort of symptoms can exposure to VOCs in an office building cause?
VOCs can trigger a number of health issues, depending on the levels of exposure and the concentrations involved. These can include:
- Runny nose
- Irritated eyes
- Low levels of mental concentration
Why are low VOC cleaning products preferable?
Cleaning products with low levels of VOCs can help to reduce the risk of harmful compounds being emitted into the air, often have less odour, can be less likely to cause allergic reactions, and have less impact on the environment.
How do I know if the products the commercial cleaners use are low VOC?
You can contact your cleaning service to find out if the products they are using in your office are low VOC, and request the product information. At Jan-Pro, we are committed to cleaner, greener products and cleaning practices. We select our commercial cleaning products based on their environmental impact. Our products are butyl free and low in VOCs.