Did You Know That VOCs Can Be Found Within Your Home?
Most people are completely unaware of the harmful effects of VOC gases within their homes. VOCs are often associated with paints and solvents however they also feature in less likely places. Cleaning products, perfume, nail varnish and even air fresheners are likely to contain VOCs.
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 than outdoors due to less circulation of fresh air passing through.
You probably don’t think twice before lighting some candles or cleaning work surfaces throughout your home. Yet, surprisingly, these seemingly innocent household products are full of potentially harmful chemicals that you should be on the lookout for.
Below we have listed the 10 most common VOCs and where they are commonly found in your household.
(1) benzene – Paint, Glue, Carpeting & Emissions from gasoline combustion.
(2) formaldehyde – Floor lacquers & Certain moulded plastics.
(3) toluene – Paint, Inks, Dyes & Perfumes.
(4) carbon disulfide – Chlorinated water.
(5) acetone – Nail polish remover, Furniture polish & Wallpaper.
(6) dichlorobenzene – Mothballs & Deodorisers.
(7) xylene – Traffic emissions & Idling cars.
(8) butanal – Emissions from barbecues, Burning candles, Stoves & Cigarettes.
(9) ethanol – Glass cleaners, Dishwasher tablets & Laundry detergents.
(10) terpenes – Fragrant products such as soap & laundry detergents.
Don’t panic; you can easily remove VOCs from (or reduce them in) your home. Use simple steps when spraying, burning or using these chemicals, move to an outdoor area or open your windows and doors within your home. These actions will allow air to pass through and filter the gases outside where they can disperse.
If you can, simply go out and replace these products for alternatives that do not contain harmful VOCs.