Air Purifiers for MCS and VOC

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If you suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) or are concerned about Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) then you need to select an air purifier that is specifically made for those issues.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is a chronic, physical illness affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. Many people have allergic-type reactions to very low levels of chemicals in everyday products like cleaning products, tobacco smoke, air fresheners, shampoos, perfumes, and pesticides. 

According to John Hopkins Medicine, It is reported that once exposed, low levels of chemicals found in everyday materials, such as detergents, cosmetics, and newspaper inks, can trigger physical symptoms in people with multiple chemical sensitivities.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that are found in many products we use every day. Once these chemicals are in our homes, they are released or “off-gas” into the indoor air we breathe. They may or may not be able to be smelled, but just because you can't smell them it does not mean they are ok for you. 

Common VOC's found in most homes and businesses 

  • Air fresheners
  • Cleaning products
  • Cosmetics
  • Fuel oil, gasoline
  • Paint, varnishes, caulks, adhesives
  • Carpet, vinyl flooring
  • Composite wood products
  • Upholstery and foam
  • Dry cleaning, 
  • Burning wood

How to Select an Air Purifier for Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

Not all air purifiers are created equally. Some can help your home smell better, some can remove particles from the environment, particles like dust and dander. You want one that has been built to remove chemical gases from your home’s indoor air.

Features you will want your air purifier to have 

A Bed of Activated Carbon  

HEPA filters were designed to trap particulates from your home’s air. But, while HEPA filters are great at trapping pollen, mold spores, bacteria, dust, pet dander and more, they are not able to trap the VOC gases that make a person with MCS ill.

You need an air purifier with an activated carbon filter. Activated carbon filters specialize in removing volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, and formaldehyde from the air. While you will still want a unit that also comes with a HEPA filter, you will REQUIRE an activated carbon filter to help you with your CMS disorder.

 A Powerful Fan

An air purifier is only as powerful as the motor of the fan it uses. A powerful fan is necessary to suck in your room’s air and push it back out. 

The faster an air purifier can cycle air through the filter, the faster it filters out the particles.

If you look at the specifications for the unit, you should see the power of the motor as expressed in the number of cubic feet per minute of air it can move. This may be referred to as the ‘CFM” of the motor. The higher the CFM, the better the filter can clean.

Some are cleaners show CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate). CADR reflects, in cubic feet per minute, the volume of clean air that an air purifier produces at its highest speed setting. At lower speeds, the rate a machine is able to clean air decreases.

Make Sure it Will Service the Size of Your Room

One of the biggest mistakes people make when buying an air purifier is not taking into account the size of their room. The most important thing in making your air cleaner decision is the size of the room that you must clean.

Large rooms need machines with large motors and large filters. Small rooms such as a dorm room or office cubicle can be cleaned with a smaller air cleaner with a small motor and a small filter.

Most people think in terms of square feet. You need to think three dimensionally.