These 9 Common VOCs are Affecting Your Indoor Air Quality

Volatile organic compounds can affect the indoor air quality inside your Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, home. These gases emit from liquids or solids that are harmful to you. Your body has a limited tolerance threshold for volatile organic compounds before they start to affect your health. Finding the source of these risky chemical emissions is important for your indoor air quality:


You’ll find toluene in paint. Before sprucing up your home, check the ingredients on the paint can for toluene. If you find it, keep a window open to circulate air throughout the room. Painting in the garage with the door open or outside can help prevent this harmful VOC from affecting your family.


You’ll find formaldehyde in molded plastics and floor lacquers. Try to eliminate as much plastic from your life. But when that’s not possible, choose BPA-free to keep your family safe. You can use natural plant-chemistry-based floor finishes or water-based polyurethane finishes in your home in place of toxic floor lacquers.


You’ll find butanal in cigarettes, stoves, burning candles and barbecues. The best way to avoid butanal is not to smoke and to avoid inhaling secondhand smoke. Always use outdoor and camping stoves outside, as these are the most common stoves to contain butanal. When burning candles, choose soy or beeswax-based candles with cotton wicks for a safer burning experience.


You’ll find acetone in wallpaper, furniture polish and nail polish remover. When picking a furniture polish, pick one that’s water-based rather than made with acetone. It’ll get the job done and save your lungs. You also shouldn’t have to sacrifice health for beauty, so choose an acetone-free nail polish remover made with alcohol or another solvent. It’s better for your nails as well as your breathing.


You’ll find terpenes in fragrance-heavy products like laundry detergents and soaps. Rather than a detergent made with terpenes, buy a citrus-based or natural soap product. As a result, you’ll help to keep your family healthy. No one needs to expose their skin to terpenes.


You’ll find ethanol in laundry and dishwasher detergents as well as glass cleaners. Again, natural products are best when it comes to keeping the air in your home VOC-free. If you have to use a product that contains ethanol, create an effective air filtration system to absorb the chemicals or leave the window open so the VOCs can escape.


You’ll find dichlorobenzene in deodorizers and mothballs. To deodorize clothing and keep moths away, try potpourri bags filled with lavender. You can also use garment bags and air-tight containers with cedar chips instead of mothballs when storing your out-of-season clothes.


You’ll find xylene in idling car and traffic emissions. When you’re driving on the road, xylene is unavoidable, so keep your windows shut when you encounter heavy traffic. Also, if you need to keep your car running, never pull into the garage as it’ll cause a buildup of this toxic chemical. If you come across a home product that contains xylene, make sure you wear protective gloves, mouth and eye gear.


You’ll find benzene in emissions from gasoline combustion, carpeting, glue and paint. Keep car windows rolled up and use benzene-free glue and paint, which are widely available.

VOCs are often sourced from common everyday items found within your home. While chemical odors can make the presence of VOCs easy to identify, some products are less obvious. To maintain air quality in your home, read all labels for cleaners and other household products before bringing them home to check for the risk of VOCs. A good indicator is when the instructions require using the item in a well-ventilated space.

To help keep your air clean and your family breathing easy, call Warren-Hay Mechanical at 843-492-0166. We’ll discuss ways to clean up the air in your home and provide your loved ones with more healthy days.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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