VOC's, Volatile Organic Compounds are all around us. They are in our furniture, carpets, paint, markers, cleaning products, cosmetics, shampoo, soap etc. They are not harmful in minute amounts but since they are in almost all of our "things", we are inundated with exposure to these harmful chemicals. The EPA suggests the average home has 2-5 times the VOC in their indoor air than their outdoor air. The level of exposure depends on amount of VOC and length of time.
We are responsible stewards of energy conservation so we seal up our homes nicely. Nothing gets in but nothing gets out. Open those windows, bring in some house plants. When it's time to replace flooring or repaint walls, choose low VOC materials. Make sure the house is well ventilated when using VOC materials. Go outside to use these products if you can. Use all natural cleaning products and bath products. Place bowls of baking soda around the house to absorb odors instead of using air "fresheners".
Information about the importance of using all-natural products is slowly creeping in mainstream media but for the most part, there is still a lot of education that needs to be done. If the news shows or talk shows would cover how we are poisoning ourselves in our own homes instead of whether Lindsay will do jail time, the message would be out.
The EPA has an informational page on Volitile Organic Compounds. An excerpt:
Household products including: paints, paint strippers, and other solvents; wood preservatives; aerosol sprays; cleansers and disinfectants; moth repellents and air fresheners; stored fuels and automotive products; hobby supplies; dry-cleaned clothing
Eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination, nausea; damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Some organics can cause cancer in animals; some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans. Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include conjunctival irritation, nose and throat discomfort, headache, allergic skin reaction, dyspnea, declines in serum cholinesterase levels, nausea, emesis, epistaxis, fatigue, dizziness."
Get educated, live naturally!!