Are VOC’s A Hazard To Your Health?

african american woman with knees up(BlackDoctor.org) — Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), are various unhealthy chemicals and substances that are emitted from certain solid and liquid products over a period of hours, days, months, and even years. There are literally thousands of products that emit VOCs into the air. These substances can produce a wide array of adverse health effects and are well known as one of the main causes of indoor air pollution in both the home and office.

While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes the dangers of VOCs, manufacturers of most consumer goods are not required to list the ingredients in their products (allegedly to protect against trade secrets), so consumers are not always clearly warned regarding the dangers of many products available on the market.

What Products Emit VOCs?

An enormous number of consumer products emit VOCs into the air. Do you know that “new shower curtain smell” that fills your bathroom when you unwrap a new shower curtain from the store? Those are VOCs. Or the smell of a freshly painted bedroom? VOCs again. And even though some VOCs emit an odor that is recognizable and distinct, the presence of many VOCs—like formaldehyde—is hidden.

While it is not possible to list all of the products containing VOCs in the context of this brief article, the following list provides a general beginner’s guide for the concerned consumer: