Originally published Dec. 15, 2019, updated Jan. 30, 2022.

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are insidious chemicals that are created as fumes from solids or liquids and can fill the air of your Allentown, Pennsylvania, home with toxins. Learn about the VOCs you may not realize are lurking in your home, what you can do to mitigate the dangers they present, and how you can keep the air you breathe safe.


Are you a fan of burning scented candles? Are you a smoker? Even if you have a gas stove or a gas fireplace, butanal can occur in your home via these products. You can avoid it by sticking to candles with cotton wicks or those that are made from soy or beeswax.


Acetone is found in most nail polish remover and furniture polish. Most newer homes today don’t have wallpaper, but if you have an older home, it can also be there. To avoid exposure to acetone, choose any of the many acetone-free nail polish removers and furniture polishes, and consider removing that wallpaper.


Formaldehyde is present in some molded plastics, in many floor lacquers, and even in vaping juice in small quantities. Choose alternatives like water-based finishes, and avoid using plastics when possible. When you do use plastic, look for BPA-free products.


Ethanol can be found in a surprising variety of sources, including household products such as dishwasher and laundry detergents and even glass cleaners. Ethanol can be difficult to avoid, so when you’re cleaning indoors, make sure that you have a lot of ventilation to keep the air fresh and clean.

The best way to keep your air free of VOCs is to avoid the use of products that release them into the air in the first place. That’s not always possible in our modern world, so it can help to have a whole-home air purifier system installed by the professionals at Sullivan Oil & Propane. Call us to schedule an air quality inspection today.

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