Volatile Organic Compound

Definition

The term volatile organic compound (VOC) refers to chemicals that are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids.

Description

Effects on public health

VOC concentrations (from paint, cleaning products, etc.) can be up to ten times higher indoors compared with outdoors and can affect indoor air quality (IAQ), leading to respiratory symptoms, liver and kidney problems, and central nervous system issues.

See also Indoor air quality ; Ozone ; National ambient air quality standards.

Resources

BOOKS

Anslyn, E.V. and D.A. Dougherty. Modern Physical Organic Chemistry. Herndon, VA: University Science Books, 2005.

Arms, Karen. Environmental Science. Orlando, FL: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2006.

Botkin, Daniel B. and Edward A. Keller. Environmental Science: Earth as a Living Planet. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2004.

Pfafflin, J. R. The Dictionary of Environmental Science and Engineering. Routledge dictionaries. New York: Routledge, 2008.

  This information is not a tool for self-diagnosis or a substitute for professional care.