Within many types of industrial work environments, one of the biggest hazards faced by workers is volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Highly-regulated due to their potential to inflict harm on humans and the environment, these VOCs are organic substances that can cause a variety of problems for those exposed to them over a period of time. Health effects resulting from exposure can include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, nausea, loss of coordination, and in extreme cases damage to a person’s liver, kidneys, or central nervous system, which in some instances can lead to death.

To ensure workers are kept as safe as possible from VOC emissions, companies are investing more and more in technology that can monitor facilities and provide information that is accurate and reliable. Let’s take a closer look at reliable VOC detectors and how you can best use them to keep your workplace safe.

What are Volatile Organic Compounds?

VOCs are defined as organic compounds that participate in atmospheric photochemical reactions and are often present at industrial plants, offshore platforms, laboratories, and other industrial settings, Common substances that qualify as VOC include benzene, acetone, hydrocarbons, and gasoline or exhaust produced by the use of fossil fuels during the manufacturing process. Since most of these compounds evaporate into the surrounding air, it is critical to have monitoring systems in place that can detect dangerous levels of VOCs and alert nearby workers. 

Pro Tip: Long term exposure to low levels of VOCs can increase health risks and possibly cause injury or even death. Many are considered carcinogens and have strict EPA exposure limits.  

Versatile Detection Capabilities

Because VOC can be found in many different work settings, it is important that monitors and sensors used in these facilities have versatile detection capabilities. 

Confined Space Monitoring

To learn more about what a VOC detector is, it is important to know as much as possible about confined space monitoring. Whether it is a laboratory at a university, an offshore drilling platform in the middle of an ocean, or a chemical processing plant in an industrial park, numerous indoor environments have numerous confined spaces that require careful monitoring for VOC concentrations.

To accomplish this, many companies purchase portable VOC detectors, which can work in conjunction with fixed monitoring systems to help protect workers from unexpected buildups of these dangerous substances. By using portable detectors that can be clipped to belts or clothing, engineers and technicians can closely monitor VOC levels while repairing or installing equipment. Along with this, all data from the air quality monitors is transmitted in real-time to on-site safety engineers and also off-site analysts at monitoring centers, allowing for instant analysis in the event an emergency occurs.

Improving Your Indoor Air Quality

Whether used in an area where high humidity levels, temperature extremes, or dust and dirt are significant factors, VOC detectors and meters are made to withstand the harshest of work environments.

To learn more about the importance of this technology and how it can make your work facility much safer, connect with us via social media.