Other Pollutants: VOCs and Odorous Reduced Sulphur Gases
What are they? posted on 9:56 AM, June 7, 2016
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a group of chemical compounds that evaporate from liquids to gases, and are usually in higher concentrations indoors than outdoors. Odorous reduced sulphur gases include total reduced sulphur gases and hydrogen sulphides, which produce offensive, nuisance odours similar to rotten eggs.
What are the human health concerns? posted on 9:54 AM, June 7, 2016
Human health impacts of VOCs can include eye, nose and throat irritation, headache, nausea, dizziness and skin problems, in addition to irritation of the lungs at higher concentrations. VOCs are not considered a priority pollutant and are not monitored.
What are the sources? posted on 9:53 AM, June 7, 2016
Sources of VOCs include gas fumes; burning of fossil fuels and other materials, including wood, kerosene and tobacco; paints and solvents; cosmetics; and copying and printing machines. Odorous reduced sulphur gases come from industrial sources, including pulp and paper production, and sewage treatment plants.
Odorous reduced sulphur gases are not a human health hazard, but are considered a nuisance.
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About the Fraser Basin Council
The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is a charitable non-profit organization that brings people together to advance sustainability in the Fraser River Basin and throughout BC. Established in 1997, FBC is a collaboration of four orders of government (federal, provincial, local and First Nations) along with those from the private sector and civil society. We work with people in multiple sectors, helping them find collaborative solutions to today’s issues through a commitment to the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. Our focus is on healthy water and watersheds, action on climate change and air quality and strong, resilient communities and regions.