The organic compounds are chemicals that contain carbon and are found in all living things. Volatile organic compounds, called VOC (for its acronym in English), or COV (for its acronym in Spanish), easily become vapors or gases. Together with the carbon, containing elements such as hydrogen, oxygen, fluorine, chlorine, bromine, sulfur or nitrogen. VOCs are released by the decombustibles burns like gasoline, wood, coal or natural gas. They are also released by solvents, paints and other products used and stored in the home and workplace.
Examples of volatile organic compounds are:
Natural: isoprene, pinene and limonene
Artificial: benzene, toluene, nitrobenzene
Other examples of VOCs are formaldehyde, chlorobenzene, solvents such as toluene, xylene, acetone, and perchlorethylene (or tetrachlorethylene), the main solvent used in the dry cleaning industry. Many VOCs are commonly used in paint thinner and lacquer, moth repellents, air flavorings, materials used in wood, aerosol substances, solvents, grease, automotive products and solvents used for dry cleaning industry.
Many VOCs are hazardous air pollutants. The importance of VOCs is its capacity as precursors of tropospheric ozone and its role in destroying stratospheric ozone. Contribute to the formation of photochemical smog to react with other atmospheric pollutants (nitrogen oxides) and sunlight. It occurs mainly in urban areas, resulting in rich atmospheres enozono of a brown color. By reducing the emission of these volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides could avoid the formation of smog.