Lab Analysis for VOCs

The term volatile organic compounds (VOCs) denote the entire set of vapour-phase atmospheric organics and while thousands of VOCs exist, methane is the most abundant. There are many types of volatile organic compounds that are released into the atmosphere from both anthropogenic (man-made) and biogenic (natural) sources.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that over 18 million metric tons of VOCs are emitted into the air over the United States each year. Of this mass, approximately 34% originates from vehicles used for transportation and about 50% stems from industrial processes, while the remaining fraction derives from biogenic sources. For vehicular emissions, the list of compounds is long and variable depending on the fuel, type of engine and operating conditions.

Passive Sampling Benefits
Download our document highlighting the benefits of passive sampling for VOCs.

Certain VOCs, such as benzene (an industrial solvent) and Benzo-a-Pyrene (produced by burning wood, tobacco, and barbecuing etc.), are known to cause cancer. Although many VOCs are not intrinsically harmful, many react in the atmosphere to produce secondary compounds that are harmful to human health. High levels of VOCs contribute to the formation of ozone, the main component of smog. VOCs also contribute to vapour intrusion, while industrial VOC emissions can contribute to OH&S issues. Our lab is equipped to analyze and detect virtually any VOCs.