Personal exposure and fifteen kinds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, toluene, formaldehyde in ten apartments in Changsha city, China were tested by passive gas samplers with questionnaires survey during August 2002 and January 2003. At the same time, indoor and outdoor temperature and relative humidity were also measured. The questionnaires include such items as indoor decoration condition, whether smoking, furniture materials and air exchange time etc. As is well known, the spending of time after the decoration, living habits of the dwellers, indoor and outdoor temperature and relative humidity all influence the quantity of VOCs in residential buildings. Further analysis of the field measurement data and questionnaires reveals that, (1) although some people complaint about indoor air quality, none of the tested VOCs concentrations exceed the WHO standard values, which illuminates that the effect of VOCs on people is latent and accumulative. (2) Measurement results show that the higher the temperature and relative humidity, the higher the emission rates and concentrations of some VOCs. (3) Most IAQ problems in residential buildings are caused by indoor pollution. Especially in the newly decorated apartments, some indoor VOCs concentrations are about twice of those in the apartments decorated a little earlier. (4) The air flow organization of air conditioners is one of the leading factors that affect the VOCs concentrations distribution. (5) One's personal exposure is not only to do with indoor and outdoor VOCs concentrations but also to do with his living habits and working environment. With detailed analysis of the main sources of VOCs in residential houses and the main influence of VOCs on people's health, some constructive proposals are put forward to reduce the VOCs concentrations.