Volatile organic compounds are produced by staggering number of products, especially from compounds listed as fragrances in the ingredients.
Posted on Green Supply Chain
You are greening your supply chain, moving towards renewable energy sources, pressuring suppliers to reduce their own CO2 emissions and water usage and more. But to be a sustainable company, many firms may need to start looking in the mirror at the products they produce. They may be emitting high levels of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.
What are VOCs? They are a class of pollutants that get into the air and cause a wide range of health problems. Some of them are inherently toxic, causing irritation, headaches and nausea when breathed in. Other VOCs start out benign but produce ozone, which can trigger asthma attacks, when they are exposed to another type of air pollution. When some VOCs are exposed to sunlight, they produce particulate matter, which is linked to heart attacks and premature death.
Until recently, it was generally assumed that nearly all VOCs were produced by exhaust from cars and trucks. But now news from the journal Science, in which a team of researchers including Jessica Gilman, a chemist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, says that a wide range of household goods, including paint, inks, cleaning products, fragrances, nail polishes, hair sprays and more, now emit about as many VOCs as cars do in US metro areas.