During a structure fire, toxic smoke, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and particulate matter are generated from the vast array of building materials, contents, and household products that combust. These chemicals mix and interact with each other to create a vast array of carcinogens, poisonous gasses, acids, and other toxins that can cause acute and chronic illnesses, cancer, and even death. Some are so toxic that the EPA has designated them as having a zero level of permissible exposure limit.
Clothing, textiles, and other types of soft goods often act like VOC sponges and are highly susceptible to smoke saturation, retention, and contamination during and after a fire, which prompts the question; can clothing and other types of soft goods damaged by smoke really be completely decontaminated and restored? Can ozone, laundry detergents, and dry-cleaning chemicals remove and/or neutralize every one of the thousands of chemicals that may be created in a fire? If so, how can the consumer be assured the restoration techniques are effective and the cleaning chemicals themselves are safe?