VOCs / Guides

Non-toxic building materials can improve home air quality
Healthy indoor air quality

Maintaining healthy indoor air quality

...VOCs Volatile organic compounds form a large part of household chemical pollutants . Formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, alcohols and mineral spirits are the most commonly found VOCs in our homes. They can cause many adverse health effects including dizziness, nausea, fatigue, respiratory illnesses, and cause damage to y...

90 year old red pine refinished with zero VOC floor oil
Paints, finishes and natural coatings

How to find a healthier wood finish

...VOCs (volatile organic compounds), or if you're a really shrewd shopper, none at all - see here for an article on zero VOC paint and the difference to low VOC paints . While the smell may be gone in days or weeks, the effects won't be. It will take years before VOCs in any surface finishes stop polluting your air, wh...

Painting with zero VOC paint from Benjamin Moore
Paints, finishes and natural coatings

Choosing safe paints

...VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds): We grew to accept VOCs in our paints and not a lot of thought was put into why, or if they were actually necessary. VOCs are added by manufacturers partly to slow drying times, but predominantly to prevent paint from freezing during transportation. This process can be easily avoided...

DIY Natural Earth Pigment Paint, Making it at Home is Easy
Healthy indoor air quality

DIY recipe for natural healthy paint

...VOCs. Low VOC paints may have reduced amounts of volatile organic compounds, meaning they don't off-gas as much as traditional paints, but it's important to remember that when it says "low" it's only in comparison to some other paints. There's are no standards that define what "low" means, so the labels are arbitrary, ...

Drywall and construction dust
Cleaning and maintenance

Tips for keeping air clean during renovations

...VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in paints and primers Formaldehyde and other chemicals present in building materials VOCs from adhesives and surface finishes Airborne fibers from insulation batts Off-gassing of foam insulation How to prepare for home renovations: Move furniture: Take as much of your fur...

Healthy indoor air quality

The impact of ambient fragrances on our health

...VOCs) after one hour of diffusion. Similar results were found in a study conducted in the United States. All products tested emitted at least one type of VOC, and a quarter of these VOCs are listed as potentially toxic according to US law [4] . Are there safe and natural ambient fragrance products? Yes, but they ar...

Laminate Kitchen countertops can be beautiful & green too - Counter by Formica

Choosing green kitchen countertops for sustainable homes Including LEED v4 & Passive House PHIUS+ certified

...VOCs, it is stain resistant, and it is entirely recyclable at the end of life. As an added bonus, you can mold the sink, the countertop and backsplash out of the same material. Figure on spending between $50 and $120 per square foot, installation included. Visit Alkemi . Recycled aluminum coun...

Hemp fibreboard and Hemp insulation - the Green Building choice
Wood and organic materials

Hemp building supplies

...VOCs. Hemp Coreboard on the other hand, is non-toxic and does not contain formaldehyde and toxic resins. Coreboard is also manufactured using a sugar-based binder, therefore hemp building products can help contribute to cleaner interior air quality in homes. To meet industrial safety standards, a salt-based fire-r...

Polished concrete floors and counters
Paints, finishes and natural coatings

Finishing concrete floors with silicate densifiers

...VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Many densifiers have no VOCs; they will seal the floor, so additional sealers aren't absolutely necessary. A surface sealer will also wear out and require re-application in as little as a year, depending on how much use they see. Any sealer will be subject to etching as well. For th...

Air barriers are essential to a properly functioning wall system
Air and vapour barriers

What is an air barrier?

...VOCs, formaldehyde or ozone depleting agents. The R Value is 1.5, enough to break the thermal bridge at each stud. And when joints are taped it makes an excellent air barrier. Excel II sheathing © BP Canada There are many products and techniques that can make for a great air barrier, but most importantly we nee...

Which House Plants are Best to Clean Air & Remove Toxins?
Healthy indoor air quality

Which house plants are best for purifying air? Ecohome investigates

...VOCs better than others, but when put in large rooms, their effects are practically inexistent. “We decided to study it more in-depth in response to all the internet articles and wellness blog posts that tout plants as an indoor air quality magic bullet,” says Michael Waring, an environmental engineer and indoor air ...