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VOCs: A Threat Or An Opportunity?

In this article, we will talk about combating VOCs as this subject concerns many distributors and manufacturers and the clients, of course. London flooring contractors point out that it is a common thing to be asked about the environmental credentials of their products so the need for environmental certification from manufacturers is rising.

  • London flooring professionals say that in the previous decades other industries were unwilling to accept the scientific research carried out on construction products such as asbestos and lead. VOCs do not pose the same hazards but we should note and be fully aware of its impact.
  • What is VOC? By definition, Volatile organic compound is any organic compound that has an initial boiling point equal to or less than 250 degrees Celsius when measured at a standard atmospheric pressure (101.3kPa). They are both manmade and natural chemicals that vaporise at a low temperature. The process is called volatility. London flooring specialists explain that when these chemicals evaporate into the air in an enclosed space they might cause health problems. Many VOCs are not toxic but the problem comes from the fact that their harmfulness is not exactly quantified. London flooring experts tell that it is relatively early in the VOCs scientific testing and it may take several years to realise the true effects of the compounds so any conclusions can be made.
  • Let’s start with Formaldehyde – it is common to many building materials such as lacquers, paints and glues. London flooring professionals say that it causes irritation of the mucous membranes and can cause people to feel fatigued. It is emitted slowly over long periods and is proven to be harsher in areas with higher levels of humidity. This means that people living next to the sea or on islands are more concerned.
  • London flooring contractors point out one more thing – our present lifestyles have changed dramatically over the past years. People spend more time indoors, children play video games and watch TV instead of playing outside. An issue rises from the fact that very often poor ventilation is fitted – this provides the perfect environment for emitting concentrated VOCs. They play a significant role in allergies, eye and nose irritation and respiratory infections. These compounds have also shown to result in nausea, headaches and problems with central nervous system.
  • Fortunately, many VOCs prove to harmless. However, others are classified as dangerous because people indoors have noticed that they experience dizziness and headaches. The exact effects are still not fully identified and described as the scientific work is still in progress. However, London flooring contractors agree that there is a common acceptance of undesirability of VOCs.
  • There is a term called ‘sick building syndrome’ – this is when a person spends increased time in home or office environments. VOCs are emitted from furnishings, floor coverings and office machinery. In such cases, London flooring professionals recommend increased ventilation to allow safer dispersion.
  • So, what can the flooring industry do to fight the effects of VOCs? Full environmental credentials should always be insisted on – London flooring solutions can’t be selected only for their affordable rates and good looks. Flooring manufacturers that provide evidence of environmental responsibility and awareness are preferred by clients. Sourcing raw materials and timber close to the manufacturer decreases the amount of carbon dioxide in the transportation of the material.

To conclude, London flooring experts say that the presence of VOCs shouldn`t be seen as a danger for the field but more of an opportunity to source only environmental-friendly products of high quality. Such solutions provide assurance in every aspect of consistency, manufacture and guarantees. The best that manufacturers can do is not to make compromises – by raising the standards we will improve the flooring industry!

Inspired by www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk