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.
- Scientific Assessment Report for Volatile Organic Compounds that Participate in Atmospheric Photochemical Reactions
- Order Adding Toxic Substances to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999
- CEPA 1999 Schedule 1 - List of Toxic Substances - This substance has been added to the List of Toxic Substances. It is entering or may enter the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that:
a) have or may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment or its biological diversity.
c) constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health.
- Full life cycle management of the substance (Track 2) under the Toxic Substances Management Policy
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:
- Federal Agenda for Reducing VOC Emissions from Consumer and Commercial Products
- Federal Agenda on Cleaner Vehicles, Engines and Fuels
- Canada-Wide Standards for Particulate Matter (PM) and Ozone
- Interim Plan 2001 on Particulate Matter and Ozone
Risk Management Tool(s)
Tool(s) developed to manage risks associated with the substance:
- Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Architectural Coatings Regulations
- Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Automotive Refinishing Products Regulations
- Proposed Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Certain Products Regulations
- On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations
- Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations
- New Source Emission Guidelines for Thermal Electricity Generation
- Guidelines for the Reduction of VOC Emissions in the Wood Furniture Manufacturing Sector (PDF; 294 KB)
- Guidelines for Volatile Organic Compounds in Consumer Products
- Completed Agreement - Environmental Performance Agreement with Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association
- Canada-wide Standards for Particulate Matter (PM) and Ozone (PDF; 38.0 KB)
Consultation (past and present) on the substance:
- Consultation Materials Regarding the Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Architectural Coatings Regulations
- Consultation Materials Regarding the Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Automotive Refinishing Products Regulations
- Consultation Materials Regarding the proposed Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Certain Regulations
- Multi-stakeholder Consultation Workshop on the Federal Agenda for Reducing VOC Emissions from Consumer and Commercial Products (archived consultation document)
- A Discussion Paper in Advance of a Notice of Intent by the Federal Minister of Environment - January 2003 (archived consultation document)
- Discussion draft of Regulations that will establish emissions standards for off-road diesel engines (archived consultation document)
- Revisions to the Proposed Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Certain Products Regulations
- Environment Canada's Proposal to Add Compounds to the Exclusion List of the Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Definition under Schedule 1 of the CEPA 1999 (September 2013)
- Volatile Organic Compounds in Consumer and Commercial Products - Information Centre
- Air - Information Centre
- Criteria Air Contaminants (CAC) Inventory - Information Centre
- National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) - Information Centre
- Precursor Contributions to Ambient Fine Particulate Matter in Canada
- Clean Air in Canada: 2003 Progress Report on Particulate Matter and Ozone
- NARSTO Reports
Email address: GR-RM@ec.gc.ca
Fax number: 819-994-0007
Chemicals Management Division
200 Sacré Coeur Blvd.
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