Why VOCs are harmful to your health

When it comes to our values and manufacturing standards here at ModnPods, our desire is to create the healthiest possible modular pods for the well-being of both our workers and their inhabitants. This value carries through to the impact of our pods on the planet too. For this reason, it is our mission to eliminate the use of VOCs wherever possible throughout the build process. There’s a reason we’re known to produce the healthiest pods around.

VOC-free ply interior sealed in VOC-free sealant.
VOC-free ply interior sealed in VOC-free sealant.

So, what are VOCs?

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are a large group of chemicals and allergens that are found in many human-made products used to build and maintain homes and workplaces. To be specific, VOCs mainly refer to vapours of gases given off by compounds rather than the liquid phase. They are most commonly found in carpets, paints, varnishes and timber, and generally impact those with respiratory issues such as asthma or those who are particularly sensitive to chemicals. And hey, none of us want high levels of nasties in our lives, workplaces or homes.

VOCs may cause both short and long-term adverse health effects. These health effects depend on the specific composition of the compounds present, their concentration and the length of exposure to them.
It’s important to note that the term VOCs refers to a group of chemicals and each chemical has its own toxicity level and potential for causing a variety of health effects. It is said that concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher in fact) than outdoors.

Effects of exposure to VOCs often include eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, loss of coordination, nausea, and even damage to the liver, kidney and central nervous system. In extreme cases, some VOCs can cause cancer in animals, and some are suspected or are known to cause cancer in humans. There is actually a term called “sick building syndrome” which is associated with medical conditions when there is a high build-up of VOCs in indoor environments.

Other than having a negative impact on people’s health, VOCs are also known to cause damage to the environment, which each of us plays a role in protecting, as well as the plants, animals, water and soil in it. They are a known cause of photochemical smog, playing a significant role in the formation of ozone and fine particulates in the atmosphere. As with the impact on humans, environmental effects depend on the composition, concentration and length of exposure.

So, what are we doing about it?

We’re focused on partnering with the best local brands and only those using the highest quality products available. Everything is either no VOC or low-VOC to ensure the healthiest work environment for our team and the healthiest pods around for all those who either work, live or play in them. For example, for our timber sealant, we use Rubio Monocoat, the ultimate choice when it comes to high-quality and environmentally-friendly wood protection. Their oil contains 0% VOC and is extremely safe for our team to use, and equally safe for the environment and pod inhabitants. Our pods also have optimised ventilation to ensure consistent and quality airflow at all times with minimal transfer of dust particles.

At the end of the day, we want to play our part as an innovative, resourceful and considerate business in caring for the planet and our customers and by providing you with the ultimate peace of mind.

Find out more about the health effects of VOC exposure here