VOC scents or odors are in many household products emanating molecules that harm us and should not be used. Some smell good. Some smell bad. Some we don’t smell.
“Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary room temperature. Their high vapor pressure results from a low boiling point, which causes large numbers of molecules to evaporate or sublimate from the liquid or solid form of the compound and enter the surrounding air, a trait known as volatility. For example, formaldehyde, which evaporates from paint and releases from materials like resin, has a boiling point of only –19 °C (–2 °F).”
Wikipedia “VOCs are numerous, varied, and ubiquitous. They include both human-made and naturally occurring chemical compounds. Most scents or odors are of VOCs.
“VOCs play an important role in communication between plants, and messages from plants to animals. Some VOCs are dangerous to human health or cause harm to the environment.
“Anthropogenic VOCs are regulated by law, especially indoors, where concentrations are the highest. Harmful VOCs typically are not acutely toxic, but have compounding long-term health effects. Because the concentrations are usually low and the symptoms slow to develop, research into VOCs and their effects is difficult.”
HEPA filters do not adsorb molecules. They are designed to absorb particles that have a size greater-than-or-equal-to 0.3 µm-microns [millionths of a meter]. Molecules are times smaller than 0.3 microns, they are measured in Å-angstroms. An angstrom is one ten-billionth of a meter [3,000 Å=0.3 microns]. Molecules easily pass through the HEPA filter gaps 3,000 times larger. To overcome this deficiency Air Purifier manufacturers provide a token amount of carbon in their pre-filters. Yet, the Austin Air HealthMate Plus best rated for smoke odor uses 15 lbs. of Activated Carbon and Zeolite to out air odor.
OutAirOdor units take out formerly unfilterable molecules, adsorbing them with with high-tech, gas-phase, molecular filtration.
EPA website “Volatile Organic Compounds’ Impact on Indoor Air Quality
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands.”