Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’ve probably heard something about the dangers of VOCs. Since the word is out that they can be quite harmful an array of Low and No VOC products have come on the market so as you go through day to day life, it’s now reasonably easy to maintain low concentrations of chemicals in your indoor environment by steering clear of harsh cleaning materials and not sniffing glue. But the moment you start a home improvement project the odds of encountering a product or material that contains them goes WAY up unless you are explicitly planning to avoid them. Here’s what moss recommends you consider to keep your construction project as healthy as possible.
Big offenders in the building construction department are:
- Floor: Carpets, carpet related adhesives and vinyl flooring are all potential big offenders for off-gassing.
- Walls: Paints and paint solvents (especially oil based products) are also traditionally VOC laden.
- Furniture: Both upholstery fabrics AND the composite wood product structures underneath them can ben sources of VOC emissions.
- Built-Ins: Again, composite wood products like particle board make up a big part of most new kitchen cabinets and other built in shelving units. Make sure your choices here are VOC (specifically formaldehyde) free if you want to do any truly organic cooking in your new kitchen.