Sources of Volatile Organic Compounds in the Home

Sources of Volatile Organic Compounds in the Home
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    Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are the most common chemical compound typically found in everyday products, with most VOCs found in house paint and furniture pieces.


These items may seem harmless, but they can actually cause serious health problems depending on the amount of VOCs they contain. Before going for a manufactured furniture piece, you should consider our list of the sources of volatile organic compounds in the home.

Furniture Pieces

When shopping for furniture, it’s essential to look for items that have little to no VOCs. Usually, when you purchase manufactured density fiberboard (MDF) furniture or a memory foam mattress, you will soon find that they release gas in the home that is made from VOC and other chemicals.

Typically, you find these gases in specific types of padded furniture and carpets.

To prevent these gases and chemicals from harming your health, opt for furniture and flooring that’s made from natural wood.

Also, when considering a mattress with memory foam, ensure that it’s created using an organic material instead of memory foam.

House Paint

Paint is the most common item to possess high VOC levels, which it releases into the air. Even after the paint dries, the chemicals can still hang in the air.

To avoid this, opt for paints with a low VOC count or choose a VOC-free paint. If there’s a chance that the paint you choose has high VOC levels, you should use a fan to blow on the paint and open doors and windows to help air the room out.

Building and Flooring

There are high trace counts of VOC in your carpets that can emit toxins after the first few days of installation. The same goes for vinyl flooring; once installed and treated with other chemicals to enhance the flooring’s strength, it releases harmful toxins.

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If you want something practical and affordable, natural wood or bamboo flooring is the best option. However, it’s still wise to check the packaging for any ingredients that may contain VOCs.

Household and Personal Care Products

Sure, non-stick cookware is excellent for preventing food from sticking, but it also releases harmful toxins when heated. Your air freshener in the living room also contains phthalates, which are linked to hormone problems. Additionally, fabric softeners and dryer sheets can release these chemicals into the air.


VOC-free household and personal care products are difficult to find, but they do exist. Try to purchase items that are made from natural alternatives and don’t have a synthetic aroma.

For cleaning products, avoid anything with a perfume-like scent. As far as personal care items go, use a natural roll-on deodorant and opt for natural remedies for hairspray, such as aloe hair spray.

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When you find out about the sources of volatile organic compounds in the home, it should prompt you to look for VOC-free items and furniture. Even though furniture and household products contain VOCs, it’s not a good idea to remove these contaminants on your own, so make sure to consult a professional first.

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