VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
What Can We Do About It?
01 May 2021
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from a wide array household products and furnishings, including carpets. VOCs are a combination of chemicals, some of which may have short and long term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are much higher indoors than outdoors.
Organic chemicals are widely used as ingredients in household products including paints, varnishes and wax. These all contain organic solvents, as do many cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing and hobby products.. All of these products can release organic compounds while you are using them, and, to some degree, when they are stored.
VOCs are also emitted into the air through second hand cigarette smoke and we all know of the health risks associated with this! Carpet can release VOCs into the air, especially when first installed. This starts to happen when you get that new carpet smell which is known as off-gassing. This is caused by the a component called Styrene which is a component of the latex used for the carpets backing process.
These gasses can be particularly hazardous to young children and elderly people and can also effect people who suffer from respiratory infections such as asthma and COPD.
Short term exposure to VOCs may also cause:
• Visual disorders
• Irritation of the eyes
• Memory problems.
If you are thinking of having a new carpet installed in your home then we strongly advise that you check if the carpet meets the recommended limits of VOCs.
Elements London uses a backing process called Ceneva that releases very low emmisions of VOCs as it contains no Styrene in the latex. Instead, Ceneva uses a compound based completely on vinyl acetate ethylene (VAE).
Ceneva helps towards a cleaner environment and the use of VAE in carpet backing has several other advantages including:
• Reduced Flammability – VAE is far less flammable than carpets made with Styrene in the backing process.
• Absence of odour – VAE eliminates the smell of off gassing which occurs when VOCs are released into the air.
• Quality of the final product - The quality of the carpet backing has become more consistent and is now more flexible
allowing for easy fitting. Ceneva backing also has excellent tuft bind and lamination qualities.
If you would like further information on Ceneva then please contact a member of our sales team who will be happy to assist.