Easy Steps That Can Protect Your Environment From VOCs

March 1, 2015


World-Environment-Day-picturesHave you just recently transferred to your new home? If so, chances are you are trying to fill it with as much furniture as you can. When buying furniture like unfinished dresser, the very first action you have to take as an environmentally-friendly consumer is to know what types of wood and finishing offer more protection to the environment. Problem wooden furniture these days is that they contain harmful chemicals that release what we call as volatile organic compounds or VOCs – which are not only harmful to your indoor environment but are also detrimental to your health when inhaled.

What Are VOCs?

VOCs, as mentioned in the introduction, stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. These are chemical compounds emitted by liquid or solid substances. These can be found on wood furniture like unfinished dressers as well as on the chemical coatings of these furniture. When released into the environment, VOCs not only act as air pollutants but also puts the person who inhales it at risk to certain diseases like asthma, pneumonitis, and cancer.

VOCs On Wood Furnishings

When it comes to wood furniture, the most common VOC that is emitted is formaldehyde. Formaldehyde from wood is small in quantity but its amount varies on the type of wood the furniture is made of. High levels of Volatile Organic Compounds are released from pressed woods compared to natural solid wood. The reason is because pressed woods already contain other chemicals like resins and glues. Press woods also emit benzene aside formaldehyde. Benzene, just so you know, is a well-known cancer-causing agent. Furthermore, studies have also shown that pressed woods also release toxins called toluene.

How To Protect The Environment From VOCs

A very simple action you can take in order to prevent emission of high levels of VOCs to the environment is to choose you furniture well. For instance, instead of buying unfinished dresser or wooden cabinets made of pressed-woods, choose those furniture which are made from natural solid wood. Not only do these furniture protect your environment, but also prevent you from acquiring lung-related diseases. Furthermore, natural furniture look more sophisticated than highly complicated ones.

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