VOC stands for volatile organic compound -- any of several chemicals found in numerous consumer products, from gasoline and glue to correction fluid and colored markers. Even cosmetics, mothballs, air fresheners and household cleaning supplies contain VOCs.
Because they're volatile, these compounds vaporize and emit gasses. Paint strippers, for example, can emit high levels of VOCs into the air during use causing serious health problems and even death.
What Are the Risks Associated with VOC's?
The health effects of VOCs vary from source to source, and from person to person. Professional painters have been found to have a range of serious health problems, especially liver and kidney damage. People with pre-existing conditions, pregnant and nursing women, small children and other sensitive people are at particular risk.
Even an occasional paint stripping project can increase your risk of physical problems. Levels of VOCs inside your house can increase up to 1,000 times after doing something like paint stripping. Paint stripping products, in fact, are the second-largest source of VOCs after cars. The VOCs in paint strippers can seriously affect the indoor air quality of even a well-ventilated home or work shop.
Avoiding VOCs and Considering "Green" Paint Strippers
First of all, always follow all the manufacturer's recommendations regarding safe use. Use only in well-ventilated areas, for example, and keep stripping products away from children and pets. And always look for paint strippers that have low-VOCs.
What is N-Methylpyrrolidone?
Exposure To NMP
What can you do?
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