Grey smog hovers over entire cities. Rates of lung cancer and respiratory illnesses are sky-high.People stay indoors or wear protective masks to get through the day when the weather is hot and humid. These are the harmful effects of air pollution.

It’s possible to cut down extreme levels of air pollution by limiting the use of VOCs. Read ahead to find out how businesses and organizations can make this happen.

What are VOCs?

Volatile organic compounds are chemicals released into the air that can cause harmful health effects, especially to individuals living with respiratory problems like asthma. They can be found in industrial coatings and solvents, along with common household products like air fresheners, paints and cleaning supplies.

Short-term exposure often leads to troubled breathing, headaches and irritation of the eyes, throat or nose. Long-term exposure is often associated with liver, kidney and central nervous system problems. A substance like formaldehyde has been linked to increased cancer rates in the nose, the throat and the lungs — this tends to impact individuals working in furniture-making, healthcare and wood product manufacturing.

Here are some examples of other volatile organic compounds:

  • Benzene
  • Ethylbenzene
  • Xylenes
  • Toluene

Find Alternatives Without VOCs:

When your business depends on coating and paint products, you may wonder how you can avoid volatile organic compounds. What you can do is replace the usual products you depend on with Low-VOC or VOC-exempt options.

Businesses can get these alternatives from a supplier like CCC Chemicals — they are one of the largest independent chemical distributors in North America. They offer 5,000 commodity and specialty products to multiple markets including the construction industry, the coatings industry and the energy sector.

The company carries Methyl Ethyl Ketone and N-Butyl Acetate, which are exempt of any volatile organic compounds, hazardous air pollutants or ozone-depleting substances. They are affordable solvents that will cut down levels of air pollution.

Take Part in Large-Scale Initiatives:

If you really want to make a difference, take part in large-scale initiatives to create better air quality. Many countries around the world have already set goals to limit greenhouse gas emissions and pollution levels.

Canada and China have collaborated to reduce volatile organic compounds and methane emissions through clean technology projects, development reports and specialized training programs.

China has also created an air pollution action plan to decrease the amount of volatile organic compounds by 10% from the 2015 rate by the year 2020. In an effort to make the action plan possible, the country is transitioning from solvent-borne technologies, which have high levels of VOCs. In place of solvent-based coatings, they are turning to water-based epoxy versions.

Find an air pollution or climate change initiative and follow it. Joining a larger movement will be easier than taking on the difficult task as a single company. Your business could inspire others to side with the cause and make changes to limit hazardous emissions. When influential groups work together for the sake of the environment, the world gets closer to achieving the goal of cleaner air.

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