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California Residents Warned of Elevated Levels of VOCs in New Construction

LA Testing provides analytical services and sampling supplies to measure volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to protect building occupants.

Huntington Beach, CA – WEBWIRE

For years, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has been providing information to the state’s residents about both outdoor and indoor air quality (IAQ) issues that may impact their lives. One area of concern for the state agency is people’s exposure to volatile organic compounds, including formaldehyde, that are known to off-gas from building materials found in new construction and renovation projects.

People are regularly exposed to a wide range of VOCs at elevated concentrations in new construction and recently remodeled homes, schools and offices because these chemicals are used in so many building materials, finishes and furnishings. VOCs, as organic chemical compounds, have compositions that make it possible for them to evaporate under normal indoor atmospheric conditions of temperature and pressure.

To address these exposure concerns, ARB has dedicated sections of their website to providing educational resources about formaldehyde and other VOCs. There is also information about common sources of these chemicals from composite wood flooring and other building materials and sources. 

“Most people quickly recognize the smell associated with newly finished construction or remodeling projects, but it’s not necessarily an indicator of a healthy indoor environment,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Quite often it actually means the person is being exposed to high levels of VOCs. These chemicals may include formaldehyde, which has been classified by the ARB as a Toxic Air Contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer and other adverse health effects.” 

To identify VOCs indoors, LA Testing offers a wide range of analytical services and all of the sampling supplies necessary. If test results indicate the presence of high VOC concentrations, steps can then be implemented to reduce exposure risks. LA Testing also recently sponsored an educational video about VOCs and new construction that can be seen at:

To learn more about VOC testing or other air quality, occupational, environmental, health and safety services, please visit, email  or call (800) 755-1794. 

About LA Testing

LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals.  In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC Elite, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states.  LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.

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 indoor air quality
 new construction

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