10 Most Common VOCs

You may be quick to polish your living room or light mood candles. The seemingly innocent household products are full of potentially harmful chemicals which you should avoid.

Some of the products which include cleaning supplies, plastics and mothballs contain volatile organic compounds. The compounds are described by Honeywell as chemicals which are emitted from different sources and are up to 10 times harmful indoors. They even affect children more.

You should not panic, it is easy to remove the toxic substances or reduce their concentration in your home. The first steps you will take include storing substances which contain the toxic substances outdoors. You can keep them in outdoor garage or shed. If you will like to use a product rich in VOCs, various air filtration can decrease your exposure and manage the damage.


If you will like to get rid of hazardous chemicals from your home, then the right way for you to go about it is to use VOC free or green substances available. Here are 10 common VOCs in most American homes, their sources and possible solutions to replacing them or removing them completely.

10 Most Common VOCs


It is found in furniture polish, nail polish remover and wall paper.


Acetone free nail polish is healthy for your nails as well as air. You should avoid sacrificing your health for freshly painted nails. If you will adopt a product that has different solvents, like alcohol, you can as well use water based polish on your furniture.


Benzene is available in glue, paint, carpeting and emissions from gasoline combustion. Some of the alternatives you can go for include benzene free paint and glue.


It is available in emissions from burning candles, barbecues, cigarettes and stoves. Some of the alternatives you can go for include avoiding smokers who can expose you to second hand smoke. You should as well quit smoking if you are a smoker. Some of the stoves which have high amount of butanal include camping stoves and outdoor stoves. Try to always use the stoves outdoors. You can burn beeswax, cotton wicked candles and soy based candles for you to stay safe.

Carbon Disulfide

It is found in chlorinated tap water. If your family drinks tap water, the right way for you to go about it is to have charcoal or carbon filtration system installed such as Brita.


It is found in mothballs and deodorizers. Alternatives available include skipping mothballs when storing clothes. You can use cedar chips instead. Air tight containers and garment bags can be alternatives. Lavender scent also help in keeping the moths away.


Ethanol is available in glass cleaners, laundry detergents and dishwasher detergents. Alternatives include opening windows when using substances which contain ethanol indoors. Always create an effective filtration system which will absorb the chemicals.


It is available in molded plastics and floor lacquers. There are several polyurethane finishes which are strong and low in toxic substances. You can as well use natural plant chemistry and floor finishes. To be safe, try to reduce plastics in your life as much as possible.


They are found in fragrant laundry detergent and soaps. Alternatives available include citrus based products which can be used as scents.


It is found in paint. You should check each paint you are about to add to your home and ensure it is free from toluene. When painting, always apply the paint to the furniture outdoors.


It is found in idling cars and traffic emissions. It is hard to avoid it when in heavy traffic, but keep your car windows rolled up to reduce your exposure.