Common VOCs

3 Common VOCs That Can Harm Your Indoor Air

September 15, 2019

A breath of fresh air is always relaxing and enjoyable. But indoor air can contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that may be harmful. Many of these compounds are odorless. Therefore, you can’t always rely on your nose to keep your family safe. Read on to learn about common VOCs that pollute indoor air in Goose Creek, South Carolina, and how to reduce exposure in your home.

Benzene

You can find the chemical benzene both in nature and in products we keep in our homes, such as glues, paints, furniture wax and detergents. Tobacco smoke is also a major source of benzene. Many houseplants naturally remove benzene from the air, including:

  • Bamboo palm.
  • Peace lily.
  • Gerbera daisy.

Formaldehyde

Commonly used as a preservative in funeral homes, many of the products in our homes like glue, adhesives, paper-product coatings and pressed-wood products also contain it. You can also find formaldehyde in tobacco smoke, and cooking certain foods can produce it.

To reduce the amount of formaldehyde in your home:

  • Use exterior-grade pressed-wood products.
  • Don’t allow smoking inside.
  • Ventilate your gas stove well.
  • Grow houseplants that naturally remove this toxin.

Tetrachloroethylene

The VOC tetrachloroethylene is often used in dry cleaning and for metal-degreasing. Low levels of tetrachloroethylene have also been found in some foods and tap water.

You can reduce exposure to tetrachloroethylene by washing and peeling fruits and vegetables. If you’re worrying about tetrachloroethylene in your water supply, use bottled water or contact your local drinking water authorities.

These are only three of several common VOCs that you can find in your home. Be aware of other indoor air pollutants, take care to avoid exposure where possible, and take necessary steps to improve your indoor air quality. For help from the pros in keeping your air clean and healthy, contact Berkeley Heating & Air Conditioning today at (843) 277-6030.

Image provided by iStock

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