While a fresh coat of paint always spruces up a Sotheby’s Scottsdale home or maybe laminate flooring, there are a lot of toxic chemicals in many of these products. 

Formaldehyde is just one chemical compound listed under the volatile organic compound (VOC) umbrella. You need to be careful when using substances like this because of the toxic gasses they release. VOCs are common in paints, stains, adhesives, and glues.

Many homeowners are starting to ask retailers, manufacturers, and contractors about VOCs in the materials they plan to use in their Sotheby’s Scottsdale home. While some products might be initially safe for some home projects, unhealthy VOCs might be introduced along the way that you should be aware of. 

While the U.S. government is moving forward with eliminating harmful chemicals in housing products, other countries like China are not going in this direction. Also, the EPA has not determined what is safe. So there’s not a lot of guidance or even misleading guidance when it comes to labels that claim products are green. 

Common Sources of VOCs

Education is the key when it comes to VOCs. Green Building Advisor and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission are a couple of good sources. 

Products that contain potentially dangerous chemicals include:

— Insulation. Asbestos or fiberglass insulation lined with formaldehyde used to exist in new home construction but doesn’t anymore. Insulation made from cotton, paper, soybeans and a grain called milo are better choices. Be careful of insulation types like cellulose for your Sotheby’s Scottsdale home that might claim to be safe but are treated with dangerous chemicals. 

 — Paints and stains. When it comes to paints and stains for your Sotheby’s Scottsdale home, some larger companies are coming out with low or zero VOC lines. The Painting and Decorating Contractors Association says as more consumers pay attention to these options, the market should see more types of these products available. 

— Flooring. With flooring, you need to not only look at the product but also the adhesives and varnishes used in the product. One option is to go with reclaimed boards that don’t have these products that attach layers. There are healthy finishes, though, such as natural oils. You can find these oils in cabinets, walls, and beams, as well. 

— HVAC systems. These systems help remove unhealthy chemicals from a home. Air purifiers also help. It’s also recommended to have furnaces, appliances, and hot water heaters serviced annually. If they aren’t working correctly, they pump VOCs into the air.

Pesticides, household cleaning products, and plug-in air fresheners are another source of dangerous chemicals.

Your Unhealthy Habits

It’s not just dangerous products you need to be concerned about but yourself. Homeowners are polluters, as well. For one, avoid smoking indoors and change your cooking habits. A gas range produces formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide. Electric appliances are safer. Either way, have an adequately sized exhaust fan. Also, if something smells funny, investigate. There might be something wrong. 

Remember, even though there are healthy alternatives for products you use for your Sotheby’s Scottsdale home, you could be chemically sensitive to these green alternatives. Just because a product is green, doesn’t mean you’ll react well to it. You basically need to use what’s best for you but try to incorporate safer products into your home, if possible. You might even want to consider hiring an expert. 

If you or anyone you know is interested in Scottsdale Real Estate, please check out my website, www.Realestateforsaleinaz.com, and I’ll be happy to help.