Mobile homes are subject to exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are a group of carbon-based chemicals found in many home products and building materials. Some examples of these chemicals are acetone, benzene, ethylene glycol, and formaldehyde. Side effects include watery, burning eyes and throat, difficulty breathing/asthma, headaches, rash, nausea, coughing, and fatigue. Long term exposure to high levels of VOCs can cause serious health problems.
Not all mobile houses have significant amounts of these chemicals, but since VOCs tend to be more concentrated in furnishings and building materials that are new, mobile homes are more at risk. To prevent health problems from these chemicals, one must determine the source of the VOCs (paint, carpet, walls, etc) and take steps to diminish chemical release and reduce exposure. Air quality tests can be purchased, as well as air ventilation systems. Experts can also be hired to come and test air quality, and suggest steps to rectify the situation. It is suggested to open the mobile home’s windows and doors as much as possible to allow it to be aired out (especially in the beginning)- this has been found to prevent strong chemical smells and mold.
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