What is a Volatile Organic Compound (VOC)?

What is a Volatile Organic Compound (VOC)?

Posted: July 29 2021

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)...

What is a VOC?

Where do we start?! A VOC is a Volatile Organic Compound, however that doesn’t explain a lot, (unless you’re a chemist)! In short, a VOC is a harmful gas that’s released into the air you and your family breathe. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects.1

They are basically organic chemicals that are widely used as ingredients in household products, such as paints, varnishes and wax all contain organic solvents, as do many cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing and hobby products. All of which release organic compounds while you are using them, and, to some degree, when they are stored.2 The gas, (or fragrance) released from artificially scented candles, air fresheners, scented detergents and your favourite smelly citrus cleaners are most likely considered toxic VOCs.

Who is affected by VOCs?

Children are most vulnerable to VOCs, however everyone is affected–even our furry friends! There are nearly 85,000 chemicals used in the market, and very few are tested for human health impact. Which essentially means they’re untested and unsafe.

Where do VOCs come from?

These hazardous chemicals are widespread and can be found in our water, air, food, and products we use every day. Common household sources of VOCs include paint, paint strippers and other solvents, wood preservatives, aerosol sprays, cleansers and disinfectants, air fresheners, stored fuels and automotive products, dry cleaned clothing and pesticides. Additionally, common building materials, finishing’s, glue and adhesives give off harmful VOCs.These chemicals migrate into our bodies, our children’s bodies, and our pets and wildlife, costing us our health, the loss of millions of IQ points, and contributing to climate change.2

How do you avoid VOCs?

A quick and easy way to avoid VOCs is to start buying unscented household products and avoiding harsh chemicals in your home. If you use harsh household products, it's a good idea to keep the space properly ventilated to avoid sickness. However, a more permanent solution is living in a healthy new home! Every Landmark Home is built with your health and wellness in mind. Our engineered lumber is formaldehyde free, the cabinetry we provide is CARB 2 compliant, our interior selections are mindfully chosen to give off little to no VOC emissions. Plus, every Single Family Landmark Home comes standard with our hi-velocity system’s three stage medical grade air filter, removing any remaining VOCs from your indoor air. Life is healthier in a Landmark Home, discover the difference!

Healthy Homes for a Happy Planet  >>


“Home.” Healthy Building Network, healthybuilding.net/#.

EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/volatile-organic-compounds-impact-indoor-air-quality.


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