State of the Art Testing for Formaldehyde (HCHO) & TVOC

Testing for Formaldehyde and TVOC in the air can be sampled and a quantitative analysis can be provided of the concentration of Formaldehyde and TVOC in the air. This could be required after a fire and smoke event, where large amounts of complex particulates are created, often TVOC.

  • Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling gas. It is produced naturally by humans, plants (especially woods), and animals. Many men made materials also contain formaldehyde, including engineered wood products (e.g., particle board, plywood, OSB, MDF, flooring, etc.), some preservatives, personal care and cleaning products, cosmetics, permanent press fabrics, glues, air fresheners, paints and coatings. Formaldehyde is also a byproduct of combustion, which includes some vehicle exhaust, fuel-burning appliances (gas stoves, kerosene space heaters, etc.), fireplaces, wildfires, structural fires, tobacco smoke, and trash fires. Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing agent), it can also cause nasal and eye irritation, increased risk of asthma and allergies, and neurological effects. At concentrations over 500 ppb, it can also cause eczema and changes in lung function. Animal studies also showed decreased body weight, gastrointestinal ulcers, and liver and kidney damage at high doses. Formaldehyde Guidelines for Homes

  • TVOC is an organic compound (those containing carbon) that are readily volatile, or evaporated, at "room" temperature. Some organizations define this by the boiling point range of the compounds, approximately 50 to 250 degrees C. 

  • VOCs can cause a range of symptoms, especially for more sensitive groups like children, pregnant women, elderly. They can also exacerbate existing conditions such as asthma. VOCs can also affect the ability to concentrate and have other less noticeable effects. Possible Symptoms: Respiratory discomfort including wheezing, burning sensation in throat, scratchy throat, shortness of breath, Skin reactions including rash, burning sensation, Eye irritation, Organ and tissue damage (minor to cancer)

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