According to the EPA, concentrations of VOCs– which are gaseous emissions from a variety of liquid or solid materials — are “consistently higher indoors (up to 10 times higher) than outdoors.” New Orleans Bamboo owner Mike Ward warns that products and materials containing VOCs, which include paints and carpeting, can produce passive “off-gas” emissions for years. Peter Seltzer, owner of a company that sells eco-friendly building materials, notes, “Especially post-Katrina, people have been building a lot more well-insulated homes, and that can be a problem. Now, [the chemicals] are stuck inside.” The consequences of emissions from VOCs depend on the person and level of exposure, reports the National Cancer Institute. It would be wise to consult the Greenguard Web site, which gives third-party certification for indoor air quality to a wide range of building products. Seltzer urges homeowners to focus first on reducing VOCs in their bedrooms, “because that’s where you’re spending the majority of your time indoors, probably.” | Read More