About VOCs - Volatile Organic Compounds

VOCs (Volatile organic compounds) are chemicals that can easily turn into vapor. They are released when burning fuel, but also can off-gas—release airborne particulates or chemicals—from furniture, paint, and a range of household items. They can also be found in air fresheners (of all ironies), as well as dry cleaning chemicals and hobby supplies. 

Sure, chemicals are what everything is made of but some of the most common VOCs released from household products are chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia, and toluene[1]. These guys probably sound familiar.

You likely recognize formaldehyde for being linked to cancer.[2] Other VOCs have been linked to a range of health issues from allergic reactions and skin irritation to asthma attacks and lymphomas[3].

The bad news doesn't stop there. VOCs are hazardous air pollutants that combine with nitrogen oxide to create smog and contribute to climate change.

References

[1] Custom Made. https://www.custommade.com/blog/off-gassing/

[2] National Cancer Institute. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/formaldehyde/formaldehyde-fact-sheet#q3

[3] Custom Made. https://www.custommade.com/blog/off-gassing/

VOCS - Volatile Organic Compounds. ToxTown. National Institutes of Health. https://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/text_version/chemicals.php?id=31