Volatile organic compound

Organic chemicals having a high vapor pressure at room temperature / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic compounds that have a high vapor pressure at room temperature. High vapor pressure correlates with a low boiling point, which relates to the number of the sample's molecules in the surrounding air, a trait known as volatility.[1]

VOCs are responsible for the odor of scents and perfumes as well as pollutants. VOCs play an important role in communication between animals and plants, e.g. attractants for pollinators,[2] protection from predation,[3] and even inter-plant interactions.[4] Some VOCs are dangerous to human health or cause harm to the environment. Anthropogenic VOCs are regulated by law, especially indoors, where concentrations are the highest. Most VOCs are not acutely toxic, but may have long-term chronic health effects. Some VOCs have been used in pharmacy, others are target of administrative controls because of their recreational use.