Volatile organic compounds that participate in atmospheric photochemical reactions

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are organic compounds containing one or more carbon atoms that evaporate readily to the atmosphere. VOCs do not include photochemically non-reactive compounds such as methane, ethane and the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). The following Web address provides the official VOC definition used by Environment Canada: http://publications.gc.ca/site/eng/248253/publication.html.

VOCs are primary precursors to the formation of ground level ozone and particulate matter which are the main constituents of smog. Smog is known to have adverse effects on human health and the environment.

VOC emissions stem from both anthropogenic and natural sources, but it is the anthropogenic sources of VOCs in populated and industrialized areas that are the main contributors to air quality problems. The major anthropogenic sources of concern of VOC emissions in Canada are the transportation sector, the use of consumer and commercial products that contain solvents, some commercial and industrial processes, and residential wood combustion.

There is more than one CAS number that applies to this group of substances.

Risk Assessment


This substance is entering the environment from the following source(s):

Risk Management Strategy

Click on the following link to view strategies and actions recommended to manage risks associated with the substance:

Risk Management Tool(s)

Tool(s) developed to manage risks associated with the substance:


Consultation (past and present) on the substance:

Other Information


Email address: GR-RM@ec.gc.ca
Fax number: 819-994-0007

Chemicals Management Division
Environment Canada
Fontaine Building
200 Sacré Coeur Blvd.
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3

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