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Your Place: Volatile Compounds Can Be Irritants

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By Alan J. Heavens

Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors — up to 10 times higher — than outdoors, which is the reason you are experiencing such reactions.

It takes a while for VOCs to off-gas — as long as two years for some products — and, of course, in a closed room, the effects on you and your family can be severe.

Some people react more than others to VOCs — usually those with existing health problems, such as asthma. “Adverse health effects in some sensitive populations,” as the EPA puts it.

There are, however, a lot of products in the marketplace that were once heavy on VOCs that are now billed as having low levels or none.

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