Paints, paint thinners, wood preservatives, chemical cleaners, dry-cleaned clothing, newly installed carpets, and moth repellents (i.e. moth balls) are all sources of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs can be very harmful to your health, causing a variety of symptoms, including: headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and nose and throat irritation. Exposure to them may eventually lead to cancer.
If you plan to use any products that release VOCs, buy a small amount that you will use up right away, and do not store them in your home. Make sure your house is well-ventilated when using them, and remember that people with asthma or respiratory diseases are more likely to suffer from exposure to VOCs.
You can always purchase products that have low or no VOC content, as these are more readily available now. I purchased low VOC paint in Grand Marais when I needed to paint my home, and it was comparable in price to the other paints. If you would like further explanation or would like help with removing these products from your home, call me at 475-2027, or stop by my office at Trust Lands. You can visit the Minneostoa Department of Health website to find out about more sources of VOCs and steps that you can take in order to reduce exposure.
Picture from www.lighterfootstep.com