What are VOCs?

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are liquid or solid compounds that can turn to gas at room temperature and cause a variety of adverse health effects when they're inhaled. VOCs include the chemicals found in paints, paint strippers and thinners, dry cleaning fluid, glues, new furniture and cabinetry, and cleaning supplies. They're a problem primarily in houses built since the 1970s, when advances in construction methods made houses more airtight, trapping VOCs from common household chemicals inside.