Sick Building Syndrome and how to cure it.

Sick Building Syndrome and how to cure it.

Volatile Organic Compounds are a group of chemicals that you don’t see and don’t necessarily smell, but the slow release of its gasses can cause:

Personality changes

Flu-like symptoms

Difficulty concentrating

Reduced productivity





Itchy skin


Many materials in your home contain VOCs like:

Glues and adhesives

Paint and lacquers


Air fresheners

Perfumes and perfumed products

Carpets and rugs

Cleaning supplies

Scented candles




Most homes and offices (of all ages) contain some VOCs and some of those chemicals may be formaldehyde or benzene which are known carcinogens.

Formaldehyde can be found in Tobacco smoke, that “new building” smell which comes from new furniture, fabrics, wood, paint and also found in pesticides, cosmetics, gas stoves, wood-burning fires and dry cleaning.

The CDC reports that formaldehyde levels reduce over time and most is released within two years.

THD Tip: Whenever you get something new, air it outside or in a room that is well ventilated, until that new smell disappears. Also look for low-VOC products, ventilate your home daily and wash new clothes before wearing them.

Benzene can be found in Paint/varnish removers, candles, Gasoline, glues, paints, detergents, thinners, inks, furniture wax, volcanoes and forest fires. Benzene is a human carcinogen.

THD Tip: Avoid breathing in gas/petrol vapours and store gas/petrol in an airtight container, also try not to breathe in fumes from glues, adhesives, tobacco and paint and always use in a well-ventilated room. Look for products that state “low or no VOCs”.

The best solution to rid VOCs in your home is to use houseplants that remove those toxins from the air. I have said this many, many times over, these plants are amazing and there is so much research to back up the reports..Yes, they actually do clean your air.

My favourites are Dracaena, Spider Plants, Bromeliad and Peace Lily.

Put as many as you can in each room. My house has one in every room, the bathrooms and especially the bedrooms. They’re inexpensive, pretty to look at, loves to listen and doesn’t talk back! How can you go wrong??  

Photo reference


Michelle@The House Detox

Michelle@The House Detox

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