VOCs That Pose Major Health Risks in Your Home

As a homeowner, you may worry about the quality of your indoor air. Many pollutants that could be lurking in your Ash, North Carolina, home that could be harmful to your health. One of the most common pollutants that can wreak havoc on your indoor air quality is volatile organic compounds or VOCs. Check out some of the most common and dangerous VOCs that could be in your home.


Benzene is a common component in many office and home renovation supplies, including glues, paint, and carpeting. However, it can lead to respiratory problems and other health concerns such as dizziness, headaches, or irregular heartbeat. The good news is, you can now purchase benzene-free paint and glue. If you have old paint cans in your home, seal them properly and store them in the garage or outdoor shed.


Butanal or butyraldehyde is a common VOC that can cause symptoms such as coughing, sore throats, and eye and skin redness. It’s disbursed in the air from stoves, burning candles, or smoking cigarettes. If you have guests or family members that smoke, ask them to smoke outside. Avoid using butanal stoves indoors and consider switching to soy-based, beeswax, or flameless candles.


Many of your household cleaners can contain ethanol, including laundry and dishwasher detergent and popular glass cleaners. Exposure to ethanol, however, can lead to symptoms such as drowsiness, headaches, or even respiratory tract irritation. If you prefer to use products that contain ethanol, use them in a well-ventilated area or install an air filtration system. Also, consider switching to natural cleaning products such as a vinegar and water solution.


Formaldehyde is often found in molded plastics and floor lacquers used to finish flooring. This VOC can cause asthma-like symptoms and irritation to the eyes, nose, skin, and throat. If possible, try to reduce formaldehyde-containing plastic in your home. When installing new flooring, make sure to opt for low-toxic, water-based polyurethane finishes.

Looking to breathe a little easier in your home? Contact Airmax Heating & Cooling at 910-795-4359 so we can help you find solutions to improve IAQ.

Image provided by iStock

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