VOC - an abbreviation for Volatile Organic Compounds - are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure (low boiling point) at room temperature. This high vapor pressure causes large amounts of liquid molecules to evaporate into the air. Although VOCs can be very toxic, not all VOCs are bad for human health. In fact, VOCs occur naturally as a means of communications between plants and pollinating insects & animals.
Although some VOCs lack a noticeable odor, most products containing scents to enhance smell release VOCs. Toxic VOCs are found in chemicals like formaldehyde, ammonia, scented candles, and room freshener sprays, most household paints, and most chemical cleaners. These toxic VOCs are often slowly released as the chemical compounds break down over time. This breakdown releases small amounts of toxins over long periods causing slow and long-term health problems.
Most American households have very poor indoor air quality due to the pollution of the reoccurring use and storage of many products releasing toxic VOCs. You can reduce VOC air pollution but using an air purifier, fans, and choosing to use natural products like Claira cleaners that release nontoxic VOCs. In many states, services are available to test the quality of the air in your home and detect concentrations of harmful VOCs.