+39 0331 527 403      commerciale@hfiltration.it

    Blog Volatile organic compounds indoors: The industrial sectors where they must be controlled
    7 October, 2020

    Volatile organic compounds indoors: The industrial sectors where they must be controlled

    When we talk about volatile organic compounds indoors, we refer to particular air pollutants. These can be found in both vapor and liquid form, usually carbon-based and characterized by a high volatility, a factor that facilitates their dispersion into the environment with consequent risks for the operators’ health.

    Volatile organic compounds, also known by the abbreviation VOCs include:

    • Aliphatic hydrocarbons, for example methane
    • Aromatic hydrocarbons, such as benzene
    • Alcohols, among which the best known are ethanol, propanol, butanol and related derivatives
    • Ketones
    • Ester
    • Aldehydes, in particular formaldehyde
    • Halogenated hydrocarbons, such as chloroform.

    Come eliminare i cov nella tua azienda? Scoprilo con 5 domande


    Most common volatile organic compounds and indoor sources

    Classi di composti

    Principali sostanze

    Principali fonti indoor

    Aliphatic hydrocarbons





    Fuels, detergents, aerosol propellants, refrigerants, perfume bases, flavorings

    Halogenated hydrocarbons


    Methylene chloride


    Aerosol propellants, pesticides, coolants, degreasers

    Aromatic hydrocarbons




    Varnishes, paints, glues, glazes, lacquers, detergents


    Ethyl alcohol

    Methyl alcohol

    Window cleaners, paints, thinners, adhesives, cosmetics




    Fungicides, insulators, germicides, resins, disinfectants, chipboard furniture


    When used indoors, volatile organic compounds can cause a series of immediate reactions to the human being, such as eye, nose and throat irritation, migraine, nausea, dizziness and asthma, but the long-term effects linked to a prolonged exposure to the aforementioned are also not to be underestimated. Among the biggest risks we find damage to the kidneys, the liver, the central nervous system and some forms of cancer.

    How to eliminate the VOCs in your company?  Find out with 5 questions

    Which are the sectors in which VOCs are used?

    The use of volatile organic compounds indoors is not limited to a few sectors, but their use could be much more widespread than expected.

    VOCs can be emitted by:

    • Paints, varnishes and similar products
    • Metal treatment products
    • Glues and adhesives for furniture and accessories
    • Cleaning products
    • Air freshners and candles
    • Car products
    • Pesticides, insecticides and disinfectants
    • Cosmetics
    • Fabrics that require special processing
    • Smoke
    • Building materials
    • Printers and copiers

    How to eliminate the VOCs in your company?  Find out with 5 questions


    Therefore, given the above, it is possible to draw up a sort of list of the sectors, both artisanal and industrial, involved in the legislation for the monitoring and management of volatile organic compounds as highlighted below:

    • Printing od newspapers, magazines, books and flyers
    • Painting of cars and vehicles
    • Painting of metals, plastic and wood products
    • Surface washings
    • Impregnation of wood
    • Layering of plastic and wood
    • Leather upholstery for footwear, leather goods and furnishings
    • Footwear production
    • Adhesive coatings
    • Production of inks, adhesives, paints and the similar products
    • Rubber conversion
    • Extraction of vegetable oils
    • Production of pharmaceutical products
    • Dry cleaning.

      In addition, the limits related to the emission of volatile organic compounds indoors, as well as those allowed, may vary according to the individual sector. The same must be strictly respected with the use of special filtration systems, otherwise you could be subject to penalties of different extent.