What are volatile organic compounds?

Volatile organic compounds are organic chemicals that evaporate and become vapour at very low temperatures (a trait called volatility). Things like exhaust gas, formaldehyde, nail polish remover, and many smells are VOCs. Exposure to some VOCs cause allergic or irritation reactions like runny noses, throat irritation or headaches. In some cases, reactions can be extreme - numbness, dizziness, nausea, fainting. The degree of the reaction depends on the length and intensity of exposure, as well as the specific VOCs involved.


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