VOC is the abbreviation for volatile organic compounds (= volatile organic substances). According to the definition of the World Health Organization, VOCs are organic substances with a boiling range of 60 to 250 ° C. The VOCs include e.g. Compounds of the substance groups alkanes / alkenes, aromatics, terpenes, halogenated hydrocarbons, esters, aldehydes and ketones.
Occurrence / Sources
There are a variety of naturally occurring VOCs, some of which are also released into the atmosphere in significant quantities, e.g. Terpene and isoprene from forests.
The environmental impact of VOC caused by human activities has greatly increased in the last century. Transport has the largest share of this, but in second place is the construction sector with its construction chemical products such as: As paints, adhesives or sealants. Possible sources of indoor VOCs include not only building materials but also furnishings, cleaning and care products, hobby and DIY products, office chemicals and above all tobacco smoke. An essential carrier of VOC are carpets. Odor problems caused by VOCs can also be caused microbially by the metabolism of bacteria and fungi.
VOCs are important for air quality, especially indoors. The hazard potential of these groups of substances is constantly monitored and further classified by the BGs, since they are a multitude of very different substances, which accordingly have very different effects on health. With the following statements, however, the VOC problem can be outlined: