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The fight for clean air in homes and buildings

Ensuring clean, healthy air for occupants inside of homes and other types of buildings, such as hospitals and healthcare facilities, is a prime concern for homeowners, architects, designers, and management from a wide range of structures. Although not normally mentioned in conversations about how to improve and maintain high quality indoor air, your choice of wall finishes can have a noticeable, long-term impact. Curious?

VOCs and their effect on air quality

VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, are industrially-produced chemicals that are characterized by high vapor pressure and low water solubility. They are commonly used in the production of paints, adhesives, flooring, furniture, cleaners, disinfectants, and more. 

When VOCs are present in products located inside homes or buildings, or used in processes that are carried out within these structures, gases are released into the air that are harmful to human health. For products that remain indoors for an extended period of time, these gases continue to be emitted day after day and build up to higher levels of concentration in the air. Formaldehyde is among the most common gases released by VOCs.

Health concerns as a result of exposure to VOC gases

The quality of indoor air is the most important to address regarding gases emitted by VOCs, as they are not able to easily escape from the structure. In fact, the level of indoor gases from VOCs can be from two to five times more than those in outdoor air.

When humans breathe in these gases, they can enter the lungs, bloodstream and tissue. This can lead to difficulty in breathing, headaches, dizziness, allergic skin reactions, an upset stomach, and more. The gases can also irritate the eyes, nose and throat. Over time, intake of these gases could potentially damage the central nervous system and have a negative effect on internal organs.

Combating gases from VOCs is not an easy path

There are a range of passive measures that can be taken to help clean indoor air of gases from VOCs. These include leaving products with VOCs outside of your home or building and allowing them to air out, but this is not very practical. It can it take years before gases are no longer emitted from VOCs.

Opening windows and doors to exchange the indoor air is another option. While you can take these measures during warmer months for homes, it is not realistic during the colder months. For commercial buildings, such as hospitals and healthcare facilities, this is not a viable solution at all.

Unfortunately, residential and commercial air-conditioning systems are not effective in helping remove these harmful gases, as they normally just recirculate the air to achieve the highest efficiency in maintaining the indoor temperature.

An additional active solution is the use of air filters or purifiers, but these would need to run 24/7 and not all of them are able to remove gases emitted by VOCs. The cost for purchasing this equipment for residential or industrial use is high, and the electricity needed to run it 24 hours a day also prohibits its economic viability. Exhaust fans are another option, but they are also not a good solution.

Glassfiber wallcoverings to the rescue

It may seem unconventional that a wall finish could help with the removal of harmful gases from VOCs, but it’s true. Unfortunately, paint, wallpapers and vinyl wallcoverings must be taken out of the conversation at this point, as they are all useless in this respect.

In the fight for reducing unwelcomed VOC gases from indoor air, especially formaldehyde, there is one wallcovering that is equipped for their effective, passive removal – the CleanAir glassfiber wallcovering.

Novelio CleanAir Glassfiber Wallcoverings

The Novelio CleanAir wallcovering line is part of the Novelio Classic range of glassfiber wallcoverings from Saint-Gobain ADFORS, well-known for the value they provide to homeowners, architects, designers and healthcare facilities. The Novelio range features time-saving advantages, such as a paintable surface and pre-glued backing, as well as durable protection for walls and ceilings that includes high resistance to abrasions, impacts and fire, not to mention an effective service life for up to 30 years.

The Novelio CleanAir glassfiber wallcovering is also part of the “Multi Comfort” concept from Saint-Gobain. One of the main pillars from this concept is “Indoor Air Quality”, which stresses the importance of ensuring clear and fresh indoor air for the well-being of occupants through ventilation and air purification systems.

Permanent removal of VOC gases for up to 10 years!

CleanAir glassfiber wallcovers build on the already impressive air filtration properties of glassfiber by focusing specifically on the removal gases released by VOCs. They achieve this through a special treatment that removes up to 50% of formaldahydes released from VOCs in furniture, new floorcoverings, paints, glues and other products that are located indoors or are part of processes that are carried out inside of structures.



This advanced treatment not only absorbs formaldehydes in the air, but permanently traps them within the wallcovering and they are never released. The treatment on CleanAir glassfiber wallcoverings retains its full effectiveness even after several coats of paint and remains active for 10 or more years!

Novelio CleanAir glassfiber wallcoverings are available as paintable (Novelio Classic range) or ready-to-use (Novelio Nature, Novelio Painted in a range of colors) and come in four different patterns.

Value that goes beyond clean air for architects, designers and healthcare facilities

With the use of Novelio CleanAir glassfiber wallcoverings in buildings you design or construct will not only help ensure clean, healthy indoor air, but add to their fire resistance and resistance to impacts, abrasions and scratches on their walls. The use of Novelio CleanAir wallcoverings will also help your buildings qualify for LEED and BREEAM certification!