High Indoor VOCs linked to Garage

Author: Pacific Northwest Inspections Group, LLC   Date: 25-Nov-2013.   Category: Mold   Add to Favorites 


According to the EPA, older, traditional gas cans release about 8 pounds of VOCs through spills and evaporation each year. By using newer gas cans, which are made of materials that minimize permeation losses and include features such as spill-proof shut off valves and no secondary vent holes, harmful gasoline vapors can be reduced by at least 50 percent, or 4 pounds per year. Even when these cans are stored in your garage the VOCs can easily enter into your home increasing your homes total VOC levels. Common compounds such as Benzene and Toluene are indicators of gasoline leakage.

Benzene increases the risk of cancer and other illnesses. Benzene is a notorious cause of bone marrow failure. Substantial quantities of epidemiologic, clinical, and laboratory data link benzene to aplastic anemia, acute leukemia, and bone marrow abnormalities.

Inhaled benzene is primarily expelled unchanged through exhalation. In a human study 16.4 to 41.6% of retained benzene was eliminated through the lungs within five to seven hours after a two- to three-hour exposure to 47 to 110 ppm and only 0.07 to 0.2% of the remaining benzene was excreted unchanged in the urine. After exposure to 63 to 405 mg/m3 of benzene for 1 to 5 hours, 51 to 87% was excreted in the urine as phenol over a period of 23 to 50 hours. In another human study, 30% of absorbed dermally applied benzene, which is primarily metabolized in the liver, was excreted as phenol in the urine.

The maximum allowable amount of benzene in workroom air during an 8-hour workday, 40-hour workweek is 1 ppm. Because benzene can cause cancer, NIOSH recommends that all workers wear special breathing equipment when they are likely to be exposed to benzene at levels exceeding the recommended (8-hour) exposure limit of 0.1 ppm. Benzene can easily brought into the workplace from personnel filling their vehicles prior to coming into work and having become contaminated themselves.

Our office offers on site testing for Benzene VOC compounds with instant results for both residential and commercial buildings.