For industrial and commercial settings the risk of volatile organic compounds (vocs) possess a significant threat to the safety of your facility as well as your employees and customers. Severe ill complications and even fatalities may result if these vocs are not carefully maintained and monitored. From digoxin and sodium cyanide to strychnine, there are a medley of vocs that may undermine your operations and cause you significant financial and/or legal turmoil. Whether you are managing an industrial production facility or own a commercial building space, learn below of five perilous vocs to ensure the integrity and safety of your business.

This substance originates from the purified extract from a foxglove plant. In signifiant dosages, digoxin has the capacity to enhance the efficiency of a human’s heart. At the same time, digoxin can become lethal with overexposure as it induces conditions mirroring atrial fibrillation with exaggerated ventricular reactions. This ultimately can lead to heart failure. Historically speaking, the nurse Charles Cullen, also referred to as the “angel of death” utilized the substance to end the life of over 40 patients.

Ethylene Glycol
Traditionally, ethylene glycol is employed as a raw substance in the creation of polyester fibers and fabrics as well as resins utilized in bottling services. The substance is also found as antifreeze in vehicles, this substance features a seemingly innocuous toxicity level. At the same time, in higher dosages and exposures, ethylene glycol can be metabolized into a more virulent form of oxalic acid.

Hydrogen Peroxide
This substance often found in bathrooms and utility rooms features a concentration of only 3 to 6 percent. However, at higher concentration levels, hydrogen peroxide can morph into a rocket propellant. The substance is quite volatile with the slightest disruption potentially resulting in an explosion in your commercial or industrial space, as most industrial forms of the product feature a concentration of greater than 70 percent. In 2005, terrorists in London, England, employed a highly concentrated form of the substance as an incendiary device that ended up taking the life of 52 people in the subway system there.

Traditionally, this substance has been employed in industrial usages as a pesticide to eradicate vermin and unwanted creatures such as rodents. When the substance is inhaled or consumers through the human mouth or eyes, it precipitates a toxic state causing convulsions of the muscular system and subsequent death via asphyxia. Easy to conceal, some have speculated that conspirators employed strychnine to precipitate the death of blues music legend Robert Johnson and historical figures like Alexander the Great.

Sodium Cyanide
Utilized often as an industrial reactant in the mining industry to extract precious metals such as silver and gold, this compound can be fatal when improperly exposed. Typically, victims smell the scent of almonds before fatally succumbing to the compound within a few seconds. Chemically, the cyanide binds to the cytochrome c oxidase, which is a protein in the mitochondria of the human cell. This binding precludes the cells from accessing oxygen to maintain their healthy function.