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Volatile Organic Compound Prevention

How do I reduce the levels of VOCs in my home or business?

The most effective action is to remove the product that gives off VOCs. Most products containing VOCs will off-gas within a short period of time, although some will continue to give off VOCs for a longer period of time depending on the environment and product.

Some steps you can take towards VOC prevention in the home are:

1. Source control

Remove or reduce the number of products in your home that give off VOCs. Only purchase amounts of chemicals that you know you will use and carefully follow directions on product labels. Remove unused chemicals from the home because stored chemicals in closed containers can sometimes “leak” and release VOCs into indoor air.
For new items consider purchasing:

• Floor models that have been allowed to off-gas in the store
• Solid wood items with low emitting finishes
• New products that contain low or no VOCs (environmentally preferable products)

2. Ventilation and climate control can be used to reduce exposure to VOCs.

• Increase ventilation by opening doors and windows, use fans, maximize air brought in from outside
• Keep both the temperature and relative humidity as low as possible or comfortable. Chemicals will off-gas more under warmer conditions with high humidity
• If you have a choice, perform renovations when home is unoccupied or during seasons that will allow for additional ventilation