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Formaldehyde & VOC

VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) refers to any of thousands of organic (carbon-containing) chemicals that are present mostly as gases at room temperature. Inorganic carbon-containing gases such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are excluded from this definition.


VOCs can be man-made or naturally occurring chemical compounds VOC including Dichloromethane, Arsine, Chloroethane, Ethyl Acetate, Acetaldehyde, Chlorobenzotrifluoride, Formaldehyde (generic term is TVOC, Total Volatile Organic Compounds). VOCs are found in wide variety of everyday products such as solvent-based paints/coatings, adhesives, sealants, printing inks, many consumer & organic products.


In 2011, US research lab EPA determined that Formaldehyde (HCHO) can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat. High levels of exposure may cause some types of cancers. The Hong Kong Government has implemented a series of various control measures. One of these measures is to control VOC emissions from regulated products by implementation of the Air Pollution Control (Volatile Organic Compounds) Regulations (the VOC Regulation) as below:-


  1. VOC Content Limits for Regulated Architectural Paints

  2. VOC Content Limits for Regulated Consumer Products

  3. VOC Content Limits for Regulated Vehicle Refinishing Paints

  4. VOC Content Limits for Regulated Vessel Paints and Regulated Rleasure Craft Paints

  5. VOC Content Limits for Regulated Adhesives and Regulated Sealants​

Click the links to read more about each regulation.

How many VOC (and Formaldehyde) can be found in newly decorated apartments?


In normal solvent-based paints/coatings VOC limits 650 &550g per liter; this means that over that half paint of can contain VOC. For example, an apartment with surface 500sq/ft using 8-10L paint will release 5000g VOC - this is almost 50000ppm when the safety level should be 0.261ppm per 600mg - creating obvious health hazards to you and your family. VOC can be dissolved by air by but can take years. For example, if using an 18 inch ventilating fan non-stop for 24 hrs, we can remove all VOC in 10 years.


VOC Health Effects

Health effects include eye, nose, and throat irritationheadaches, loss of coordination, nauseadamage to the liver, kidney, and central nervous system.  


Some organics can cause cancer in animals; some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans. Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include conjunctival irritation, nose and throat discomfort, headache, allergic skin reaction, dyspnea, declines in serum cholinesterase levels, nausea, vomiting, nose bleeding, fatigue, dizziness.

The ability of organic chemicals to cause health effects varies greatly from those that are highly toxic, to those with no known health effects. As with other pollutants, the extent and nature of the health effect will depend on many factors including level of exposure and length of time exposed. Eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders, and memory impairment are among the immediate symptoms that some people have experienced soon after exposure to some organics. Many organic compounds are known to cause cancer in animals; some are suspected of causing, or are known to cause, cancer in humans.

How to decompose Formaldehyde & VOC

Bactakleen Anti VOC & Formaldehyde is a water-based formulation with Titanium Dioxide to directly decompose Formaldehyde molecules (not a coating treatment). It reaches up to 10 times effectiveness and will not reproduce hazardous organic compounds.

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