How to Test for VOC in 2022? Approved Methods and Guides

Testing for VOCs in your home is an excellent way to ensure that you are breathing clean air. This blog post will provide an overview of VOCs, how they can affect your health and the environment, and tips on testing your home.

VOCs have been scientifically proven to cause adverse reactions when inhaled or ingested by humans or animals in everyday settings such as homes, schools, offices, daycares etc. They can be found in many products, including paint thinner, cleaners, and household items like furniture polish and fabric softener sheets.

How to Test for VOC?

Photo-Ionizing Detectors for VOCs:

An ionizing detector is a device that detects the presence of airborne particles by ionizing them. The ions are collected on charged plates or traps and detected electronically.

Ion detectors work best when used with similar particle size detection methods to be compared to each other for detecting different types of particles one at a time. The most common type of ion detector is the photo ionizing detector.

Photoionizing detectors (PIDs) work by irradiating a sample with ultraviolet radiation. This creates positive and negative ions in the sample. The positive ions are attracted to the negatively charged plate, while the negative ions are drawn to the positively charged plate. These detectors can be used for detecting both gas and solid particles.

When using a PID for detecting VOCs, it is essential to keep in mind that the detector will only respond to certain types of VOC molecules. For example, a PID will not detect benzene molecules, but it will detect the ozone molecule created when benzene reacts with ultraviolet radiation.

Also, because PIDs depend on ultraviolet radiation to work properly, they cannot be used in total darkness. Ultraviolet light must reach the sample so that it can ionize the particles inside it.

If you choose to use a PID to test VOC levels in your home, you should keep these limitations and considerations in mind when using it.

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Other VOC Detectors and Tests:

There are a variety of other detectors that can be used for detecting VOCs in the home. Some common ones include:

  • Chemical detection tubes: These tubes contain a chemical that will change colour when it comes into contact with a specific type of VOC molecule. By using a color chart, you can match the color of the tube to the type of VOC molecule it detects.
  • Gas chromatographs: These devices measure concentrations of specific VOC molecules in a sample. They work by separating the different molecules in the sample and then measuring them one at a time.
  • Mass spectrometers: These devices are similar to gas chromatographs, but they can also measure the mass of a molecule. This helps to identify unknown molecules.
  • Pulse ionization detectors: These detectors work by measuring the change in the electric current created when a VOC molecule reacts with ozone.

What are the Health Effects of VOCs?

VOCs, in general, have been shown to cause adverse reactions when inhaled or ingested by humans or animals in everyday settings such as homes, schools, offices, daycares, etc. Some of the most common reactions include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat
  • Allergic reactions
  • Long term exposure can lead to more severe health problems such as cancer, respiratory problems, and damage to the central nervous system.

VOCs are often found in many everyday household items such as paints, cleaning supplies, cosmetics, personal care products, etc. Many of these can build up to unhealthy levels in your home without you even realizing it. Once they reach dangerous levels, they will begin to cause health problems for anyone exposed to them regularly.

That’s why it’s essential to test your home for VOCs regularly. This will help you identify areas where the levels are too high and take the necessary steps to reduce them.

About Maria A. Davis

Hi, I am Maria A. Davis and I am a loving mother and a dedicated reviewer for I tried and tested a number of air purifiers and humidifiers on the market to improve indoor air quality. I created this guide from my knowledge and personal experience so you can improve the air quality in your home and office.

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