We were asked on our sister blog about our synthetic products and potentially harmful VOCs. Well, we've got good news - they are all VOC-free. Our faux wood panels look just like real barn boards - but don't emit the VOCs that treated reclaimed wood does. From electromagntic radiation from cell phones to radon gas from granite counters, there are a lot of potentially harmful things in the environment that we've only recently become aware of. One such risk factor are Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) that are emitted by new furniture, fittings and fixtures. VOCs can come from many sources. Substances like acetone, benzene, ethylene glycol or formaldehyde are emitted by some carpets and adhesives, composite wood products, paints, sealing caulks and solvents. They're generally most prevalent with new products - which is why your whole house can stink with that 'new furniture smell' when you bring home a new dresser from IKEA. Real granite or stone has been linked to potentially harmful Radon gas emissions. Our synthetic stone is VOC free. Fixtures like wood beams, or even tiles and siding, can emit VOCs depending on what they're made from. Ironically real wood - often chosen by homeowners because of it's natural appearence - can be one of the worst offenders. Varnish, wood treatment and staining floods the porous material with these hazardous compounds and they can be emitted for weeks or even months afterwords. Our wall panels, siding and other products made from high density polyurethane foam (a 'closed cell' plastic) emit no VOCs and are therefore potentially safer to use in the home than the 'real thing' they're trying to resemble. For homeowners worried about VOCs, that's big news - and definitely something worth knowing if you're considering using stone, brick or wood in your home.