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Understanding Where Household VOCs Come From

VOCs in Carrollton, GA

If you’re like most Carrollton, GA residents, you spend much of your time indoors, and most of that time is spent at home. Unfortunately, the air in many homes is filled with volatile organic compounds or VOCs. These compounds are major contributors to indoor air quality problems. They can also potentially cause serious health issues. Read on to learn about where household VOCs come from and what you can do to reduce their levels in your home.

Building Materials

Some VOCs come from the materials used to build your home. According to the American Lung Association, caulks, adhesives, flooring, insulation, pressed wood, and carpet are common sources of pollutants. Formaldehyde, benzene, and toluene can often be found in such products and have been linked to cancer. Products applied to the building materials such as paint, paint strippers, varnishes, and sealants also contain VOCs. Try to find products that are labeled VOC-free to minimize the amount of these toxic compounds in your home’s air.

Household and Personal Care Products

Items you put on your body or use around your home can be sources of VOCs. These include certain cosmetics, deodorants, fragrances, air fresheners, disinfectants, cleaning supplies, and pesticides. Gasoline and fuel for grills or power lawn equipment are further sources of these compounds. Your furniture could also be a source of VOCs. New plastic items or old plastic items that are scratched or damaged may release toxic fumes. Proper ventilation and choosing VOC-free items help to greatly reduce the amount of these compounds in your home.

Daily Activities

Burning wood in your fireplace, cooking with oil, or applying adhesives can release VOCs in your home. Other activities such as cleaning, stripping paint, or staining your floors can add VOCs to your home’s air. Printing documents, doing arts and crafts with paints or glues, and smoking can release these compounds in your home. Using exhaust fans and not allowing smoking indoors will help to lower VOC levels.

To learn more about the sources of household VOCs, take a look at Merrell & Associates’s indoor air quality solutions or contact us today for additional tips.

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