Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the Indoor Environment

June 17, 2015

VOCS: volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are carbon-containing organic chemicals—many of which can be present in indoor in low concentrations. Indoor sources include building materials, furnishings, consumer products, tobacco smoke, and indoor chemical reactions (spontaneous chemical reactions between oxidants such as ozone and various common indoor chemicals in indoor air or on indoor surfaces). VOCs from attached buildings such as auto repair shops and dry cleaners may also enter indoor living spaces, as can outdoor air, also a source of pollutants containing VOCs. VOCs may be odorous and some VOCs are known or suspected to cause a variety of adverse health effects.