What does max voc mean in acetone

Volatile organic compound

Volatile organic compound - VOCEng .: Volatile Organic Compound

"Volatile" means that these substances quickly evaporate (volatilize) due to their low boiling point or high vapor pressure.

According to the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO), VOCs are organic substances with a boiling range of 60 ° to 250 ° C. The VOCs include, for example, compounds from the substance groups alkanes / alkenes, aromatics, terpenes, halogenated hydrocarbons, esters, aldehydes and ketones.
Occurrence: in many solvents, woods, paints, sealants.
Also known to consumers as: Eau de Cologne, the typical "new smell" in new cars and home furnishings, the sweet smell of Styrofoam, and generally the outgassing of various building materials, carpets, furniture, adhesives, paint and scented candles. Almost everything you can smell and more.
The cooldown can last 10 days or 3 years.

Home poison VOC

In general, there is a massive increase in diseases caused by pollutants in homes, offices, schools, kindergartens and workplaces. While the health risks of formaldehyde have long been known, there is still disagreement about the health risks of numerous VOCs. On the part of medicine, the potential for pollution from VOCs is increasingly being recognized for the growing number of allergy sufferers (over 25% in Germany) and allergy sufferers are consciously referred to the minimization of emissions when choosing living space.

This led, among other things, to the creation of the "Recommendations for Indoor Air" by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA). So far it has had a "recommendatory" character, but it is attracting increasing attention in both public and private construction. Cities such as Munich, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Berlin and Zurich already set maximum emission values ​​as a requirement for public building tenders for certain types of buildings (e.g. kindergartens). The inspection is carried out regularly at the building inspection by an independent testing institute.

Possible sources of emissions

  • Construction products: styrene (styrofoam), polyurethane (PU foam), wood preservatives, woods, wallpaper, paints
  • Furnishings: lacquered and glued furniture
  • textiles
  • Household and office equipment: printers, copiers
  • Combustion processes: tobacco smoke, open fireplace, stoves, candles, cooking, roasting, baking
  • Adhesives, solvents, hobby and handicrafts
  • Washing, cleaning, cleaning, body care products and cosmetics
  • Mold and human exhalation
Table 4: VOCs frequently measured indoors and their sources;
VOC and VOC groupsswell
Alkanes, alkenes and cycloalkenesOutside air, motor vehicle traffic, fuels, solvents ("Solvent Naphta") in paints, resins and stain removers
Aromatic compoundsMotor vehicle traffic, tobacco smoke, solvents, carpet backing (e.g. phenylcyclohexene), rigid foam products
TerpenesWood, solvents, "odor improvers", fragrance additives
naphthaleneBitumen sheets, tar glue, tar paper, moth protection
AlcoholsCleaners, solvents, degradation products from plasticizers, among others
Aldehydes1)Kitchen fumes, disinfectants, alkyd resin paints, oil paints, linoleum breakdown products, cork floors, wood products
KetonesSolvents (e.g. methyl ethyl ketone), metabolic products, UV-hardened paint surfaces
EsterSolvents, plasticizers, heat cost allocators (methylbenzonate)
Glycol ethersSolvents in water-soluble paints and varnishes, cleaners
Halogenated compoundsDegreasing, solvents, chemical cleaning (tetrachloroethene), Tippex (1.1.1-trichloroethane), toilet stone (p-dichlorobenzene)
Other connectionsBinders (phenol), disinfectants (cresols), sealants (butanone oxime)

1) except for formaldehyde, which belongs to the VVOC group

Other substances belonging to the group:
- Siloxanes
- Organic compounds containing nitrogen and sulfur:
Lots Amines, Aniline and other basic organic compounds are used as product auxiliaries. They are very seldom detectable in indoor air and usually have a noticeable odor.
Dimethylformamide Acrylic fabric can be released into the room air in small quantities, as well as possibly from molded, laminated plastic parts. Sulfur-containing organic compounds are z. B. as Odorants (for the perceptibility of gas leaks) used by town and natural gas. [1]

Health effect

Possible health effects include: fatigue, headache, performance, susceptibility to infection, smell and taste perception, permanent damage to health, irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, runny nose, tears in the eyes, dry mucous membranes, dry skin, itching. [2]

The toxicity (toxicity) of VOCs varies widely. Benzene, for example, is considered to be carcinogenic. Other VOCs are considered to be irritating to health or produce allergenic effects. Studies by the Helmholtz Institute Leipzig UFZ show that infants and toddlers are generally highly susceptible to VOCs indoors, with corresponding long-term consequences. For most VOCs, there is currently a lack of scientifically detailed and well-founded knowledge of the health effects.

Various VOCs of natural origin such as terpenes from natural resins, natural oils and natural colors are generally classified as harmless. However, in higher concentrations and / or with long-term exposure, these can also have an irritative and allergenic effect. A few have been shown to have toxicity as with the enantiomers (+) - α-pinene and (-) - α-pinene.

On the other hand, individual terpenes are said to have a positive effect at the appropriate dosage, especially for cardiovascular diseases, but only if there are no allergies! [3]


TVOC recommendation of the Federal Environment Agency

TVOC - engl .: Total Volatile Organic Compounds
German: Sum of all volatile organic compounds

As a rule, the VOC total value is used for indoor air assessment, for which there have been recommendations of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) with regard to the maximum values ​​since 2007. The methods and limit values ​​of the interior experts Molhave and Seifert are used for this purpose. The total value does not take into account the different toxicity or the irritative, allergenic potential of the individual components, but is based on empirical values ​​from mixing ratios customary in construction. The generalized view is used because, as described, the generally scientifically recognized hazard values ​​for many VOCs are still missing. Only compliance with the limit values ​​of individual, known, highly toxic substances such as benzene are additionally taken into account in a detailed review.


SVOCEngl .: Semi Volatile Organic Compounds - German: hardly volatile organic compounds

SVOCs primarily pollute indoor air over the long term and play a decisive role in the fogging phenomenon, among other things. The outgassing takes place less strongly, but over a longer period of time, often over one to two years and sometimes even longer. These connections include:

  • long-chain alkanes: Heptadecane to Pentatriacontane (C17 to C35)
  • Fatty alcohols: Tetradecanol, hexadecanol, octadecanol
  • Fatty acids: Palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, linolenic acid
  • Fatty acid ester: Methyl palmitate, methyl stearate, butyl palmitate, cetyl palmitate, stearyl palmitate
  • Phthalic acid ester: Dimethyl, dibutyl, diisobutyl, benzylbutyl, bis (2-ethylhexyl) and dioctyl phthalate
  • Glycol compounds Polyethylene glycols, propylene glycol
  • Others: Adipates, sebacates, triterpenes, terephthalates, squalene, siloxanes above.

Sources for SVOC emissions can include:

  • Organophosphorus flame retardants from many electronic devices
  • Phthalates (plasticizers in numerous plastics)
  • In-can preservatives and other biocides (paints, varnishes, adhesives)
  • Pyrethroids and other biocides (wood protection, insect sprays, carpets)
  • Glycol compounds (some of which are toxic to reproduction) in numerous adhesives and also in many so-called and even “excellent” solvent-free paints


MVOCengl .: Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds - German: microbially produced volatile organic compounds

MVOC are volatile organic compounds produced by microorganisms: If mold growth occurs as a result of moisture damage in indoor areas, volatile metabolic products of microorganisms, e.g. B. various alcohol, aldehyde and ketone compounds get into the air. Some of these microbially produced volatiles are largely specific to microorganisms, but others can come from various other sources, such as some terpenes or aromatic hydrocarbons, such as. B. toluene. The substances that are primarily attributable to microbial sources are called MVOC. The MVOC can be measured in the room air using special methods and used as an indicator for the presence of microbial damage. MVOCs are usually found indoors in significantly lower concentrations (below 1 μg / m³) than VOCs. However, due to their low odor threshold, they can lead to odor perception. Especially in the case of mold damage that is not immediately visible to the naked eye, MVOC measurements can be helpful in recording the damage.

Health risks cannot be derived from exposure to MVOC. The indicator effect of the MVOC is in the foreground of interest and conspicuous measurement results should only be seen as an occasion for a careful search for hidden microbial sources.


OVOCengl .: Odor Active Volatile Organic Compounds - German: odor-active volatile organic compounds

Most volatile organic compounds are odorless in the usual, low indoor air concentrations. Odor-active volatile organic compounds that trigger an odor perception even in very low concentrations and, as a result, possibly over a longer period of time, are referred to as odorous substances. They have a molecular weight below 300 g / mol, a relatively low boiling point and easily pass into the gas phase. They often contain polar functional groups such as hydroxyl or carbonyl groups or heteroatoms such as sulfur or nitrogen. In the previous paragraphs, some examples of odor-active volatile organic compounds were already mentioned, such as terpenes, 2-ethylhexanol, aldehydes, ketones, esters, halogen-, nitrogen- or sulfur-containing organic compounds as well as some MVOC. A newer type of compound is butanone oxime that z. B. can be released into the room air during the curing of sealants. Odor substances represent a great analytical challenge, as they can trigger odor perception even in concentrations far below the usual limit of quantification of 1 μg / m³ and odor substances are often not detected with routine VOC measurements. [4]

Structural implementation

The research project of the Sentinel Haus Institute Freiburg with the Federal Environment Foundation and follow-up projects prove that it is possible to create VOC concentrations below the UBA recommendation of 1000 µg / m³, regardless of the construction method (solid or timber construction). Since then, the Sentinel Haus Institute has been offering those involved in construction training and project support for new buildings and renovations in order to achieve these target values.


According to WHO will be Volatile organic compounds classified according to their boiling point and thus the resulting volatility:

group example Retention area Boiling range
VVOCvery volatile organic compounds volatile org. links Formaldehyde, acetone, alcohol 50 ° - 100 ° C
VOCvolatile organic compounds Volatile organic compounds various solvents, eau de Cologne C7 - C16 60 ° - 260 ° C
SVOCsemi volatile organic compounds hardly volatile org. links Plasticizers> C17 (n-hexadecane) - C22 (n-docosane) 260 ° - 400 ° C
MVOCmicrobial volatile organic compounds biolog. volatile org. links Metabolic products from mold, for example- -
POM, PAKparticulate organic matter,
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
dust-bound org. links made of bitumen - > 380 ° C

Solvent-free products

This paragraph has been outsourced, see:Solvent-free products

List of relevant VOCs according to AGÖF

This paragraph has been outsourced, see:CAS numbers

A comprehensive decision-making aid for the assessment of VOC pollution is provided by the recommendations of the Federal Environment Agency,

see: AgBB

Example: Scheme for evaluating VOC emissions from building products for awarding the natureplus® quality mark

Individual evidence


  • Federal Health Gazette, B. Seifert, Guide values ​​for indoor air: The assessment of indoor air quality using the sum of volatile organic compounds (TVOC value). Federal Health Gazette-Health Research-Health Protection 42 (1999) pp. 270-278 - PDF 151 KB
  • Federal Health Gazette, Assessment of indoor air contamination using reference and guideline values, Federal Health Gazette-Health Research-Health Protection 50 (2007) · P. 990-1005 - PDF 740 KB
  • Federal Environment Agency, Guide to indoor hygiene in school buildings - PDF 874 KB
  • Federal Environment Agency, AgBB evaluation scheme 2012 PDF 405 KB
  • Federal Environment Agency, Mold fungus guide - PDF 500 KB
  • German Professional Association of Environmental Medicine e.V., Action-oriented environmental medical practice guideline, Berlin, 2011 - PDF 300 KB
  • Gerd Zwiener, Hildegund Mötzl, Ecological building material lexicon: building products, chemicals, pollutants, ecology, interior space
  • Josef Spritzendorfer, Sustainable building with "healthy living" building materials
  • Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research UFZ, Childhood allergies - PDF 370 KB
  • Reto Coutalides, Roland Ganz, Walter Sträuli, Indoor climate
  • Erich Schöndorf, Of humans and rats. About the failure of the judiciary in the wood preservative scandal
  • natureplus calls for better protection against formaldehyde - PDF 65 KB
  • Hans-Ulrich Hill, Chronically ill from chemicals, October 2012
  • Hans-Ulrich Hill, Environmental pollutants and neurodegenerative diseases of the brain (dementias), March 2012
  • Joint venture of the Sentinel Haus partner network, Building healthily with safety, December 2011
  • toxcenter.de Propiconazole - PDF 11 KB

Web links


See also