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Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) Inventory

Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) is defined as any carbon compound, excluding carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), carbonic acid, metallic carbides or carbonates, and ammonium carbonate, which participates in atmospheric photochemical reactions.

A Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) reacts with nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the atmosphere to form ozone (O3). Although they are not critical pollutants, these emissions are regulated once they are ozone (O3) precursors. As typical sources of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions, one can mention fuel depots, chemical and petrochemical process, vehicles engines, operations involving solvents (domestic, commercial and industrial).

Ozone (O3) inhalation above recommended limits is harmful to health. The reported biological effects range from dry mouth and throat, cough, headache and pulmonary limitation at concentration levels close to the recommended limit, to more acute problems at higher concentration levels.

The occupational exposure control shall be conditioned in such a way that workers are not exposed to ozone average concentrations higher than 0.2 mg/m3 (0.1 ppm by volume) for a working period of 8 hours or more per day. In addition, no worker will be exposed to an ozone ceiling concentration that exceeds 0.6 mg/m3 (0.3 ppm by volume) for more than 10 minutes.

The State Decree No. 52.469, issued on the 12th of December/2007, limits the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) total emission of a given enterprise at 40 t/year. Above this limit, the enterprise must submit an emission compensation plan.