volatile organic compound (VOC)

Definitions (2)
Popular Terms
1. Any hydrocarbon (except ethane and methane) with a vapor pressure equal to or greater than 0.1 millimeters of mercury (mmHg).
2. Substance that will evaporate at temperature of use and which, by a photochemical reaction, will cause oxygen in the air to be converted into smog-promoting ozone under favorable climatic conditions. Commonly found in household, institutional, and industrial cleaning and maintenance products, and in building and finishing materials, VOCs are a significant contributor to sick building syndrome. In enclosed spaces, VOCs can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, dizziness, headache, memory and visual impairment; some are known or suspected of causing cancer.

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