Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are harmful gases that can be emitted by some paints, solvents, cleaners, adhesives, furniture, and shelving. When using products that contain high levels of VOCs, open windows and turn on fans to provide plenty of fresh air. Better yet, purchase products labeled low or no VOC to reduce the level of volatile organic compounds in your home.


If you’ve spent any amount of time looking into living green, then you’ve heard the term volatile organic compounds. These VOC’s are gasses that are emitted from things like paints, cleaners, furniture, certain shelving and adhesives. VOC’s can cause some pretty bad health issues and, unfortunately, these pollutants tend to be 2 to 5 times higher inside your home than outside. If you have to use some of these things around the house, be sure you have plenty of fresh air circulating in the room and read the instructions carefully on how to use them. Better yet, when it comes to adhesives, paints and cleaners, look for labels that show “low” or “zero” VOC’s. Some countertops and furniture are also available with virtually no VOC’s. You’ll usually pay a little more for these things, but it’s just a minor inconvenience for a major step toward greener living.

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