Low-VOC Building Materials
What Are Low VOC Building Materials?
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other hazardous chemicals are contained in many construction materials and furnishings, posing a risk to the general population, especially children. Today a number of low- and no-VOC building materials are available, including less polluting paints, adhesives, solvents, cleaning agents, caulks, wood products, carpets and sealants.
How Can This Improve Air Quality?
Using these low VOC materials for new construction and remodeling projects can significantly reduce the emission of smog-forming compounds. New homes and commercial buildings generally have VOC concentrations that are two to ten time higher than comparable older structures. These elevated levels have been linked to eye and respiratory irritation, headaches, fatigue and other symptoms associated with “sick building” syndrome. Cleaner indoor air quality as well as reduced smog-forming chemical emissions can be realized by simply using low VOC building materials.
Who Should Participate?
Consumers and professionals involved in building construction, renovation and remodeling should use low VOC building products and join Clean Air Counts!
Why Should You Use Low VOC Building Materials?
Benefits of using low VOC building materials include:
- Reduced smog-forming chemical emissions from VOCs.
- Improved regional air quality.
- Improved worker safety and health.
- Reduced incidents of eye and respiratory irritation, headaches, fatigue and other symptoms of “sick building” syndrome.
- Cleaner indoor air quality for a more comfortable and productive environment.
- Value-added appeal to property buyers
Clean Air Counts is a voluntary, public-private initiative to reduce smog-forming pollutants and energy consumption in the greater Chicago, six-county region. It is a collaborative effort between the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, the Illinois Environmental Agency, US Environmental Protection Agency – Region 5 and the Delta Institute.