What Are Volatile Organic Compounds?

April 13, 2011 | By | Comments (0)

When it comes to paint, you hear a lot about low-VOC and even no-VOC paints. But what does that term actually mean? 


VOC stands for volatile organic compound, and it refers to certain chemicals that release gases into the air and contribute to indoor air pollution. Most commonly, you'll find VOCs in paints, lacquers, and wood stains, but they are also present in some cleaning products, aerosol sprays, and bug repellents.




To reduce your exposure to VOCs in your home, try these tips from the Environmental Protection Agency:


- Use adequate ventilation if you have to use a product that contains or might contain VOCs.

- Don't mix cleaners or other household chemicals unless he instructions specifically say it's okay.

- Properly dispose of any chemicals or cleaners that you no longer need. Or if you must store them, make sure they are in an appropriate container.

- Keep all potentially harmful cleaners, paints, etc away from children and pets.


Read more about volatile organic compounds from the EPA.


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