What Are Volatile Organic Compounds?

Products containing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) can release these toxic chemicals when they are used, and also when they are simply stored.

You will usually smell an odor when using these products, however, depending on the product, you may not even be aware of the toxic release because you may not smell the product.

Labels often list VOC ingredients and recommend that they should be used in well ventilated areas. Ventilation means bringing in fresh, outdoor air to mix with indoor air to reduce the VOC concentration.

Using a product containing VOCs indoors causes, the levels of these chemicals in the air to increase, then decreaseover time after you stop using them. The amount of time the chemical stays in the air depends on how quickly fresh air enters the room, and the amount of the chemical used.

Levels of VOCs will decrease faster ventilation is in adequate supply.It is very important to open windows or doors, or use exhaust fans.

It's important to note that building materials and furnishings, such as new carpets or furniture, slowly release VOCs over time.

It may be necessary to ventilate areas with new carpeting or furniture for longer time periods because VOC levels can build up again after the windows are closed.

Whenever possible, unroll new carpets or store furniture outside your home (in a shed or detached garage) to minimize odors before bringing them in the home. If that's not possible, open windows, close doors and try to stay out of rooms until odors are reduced.

Even new construction where you encounter treated woods, composites, adhesives, glues ect., VOCs are usually present. It's better to know that they are in your environment so you can protect yourself accordingly.

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