Non-VOC: what does it mean and does it matter?

More and more products are being promoted by offering low VOC, non VOC, VOC free or properties with similar wording. What does this actually mean and does it really matter? To start with the last question is best in this case. We are spending most of our times, unfortunately, indoor; in our office, at home or in public buildings.The quality of the air we breathe is already for a longer time a serious and important topic but only recently an increased focus on indoor air quality can be noticed.  Because we are spending so much of our time indoor, the indoor air quality does indeed really matter and this is where VOC is all about. VOC means volatile organic compound and although this may not ring a bell it is all about migration of chemical substances. Even clearer said: chemical substances leaving the products surrounding you which are impacting the indoor air quality. You do not have to be a chemist to understand reducing VOC is key to improve air quality. We do not want chemical substances to leave the floor, wall covering, furniture or coatings of the four walls we are living and working in. Plasticizers are used to make and keep PVC soft. Flexible PVC is for example being used in flooring and wall covering and it is not surprising that we clearly see a trend towards non-VOC products in those areas. In order to keep up with current customer trends plasticizers should not only offer non-VOC properties but they also should be phthalate-free.

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PVC & Plasticizers: What, Where & Why