Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals that have a low boiling point (below 250ºC) at atmospheric pressure. While most of them are not acutely toxic, they are known to have negative long-term effects on human health.
According to a study published in 2017, in China the use of VOC-containing products is the main source of VOC emissions, contributing about 75% of total emissions. Other sources are the production of VOCs (10%), the use of VOCs as raw materials (9%) and storage/transportation of VOCs (5%).
Several studies show that the concentration of VOCs in China is much higher than in Western countries such as the United States and Germany, indicating that China`s regulatory system for VOCs is lagging behind global standards. As a consequence, China has in the past few years started a number of policies to control VOC pollution.
Unfortunately, there is no regulation that specifically focuses on VOCs in China. However, government efforts to regulate VOC have found their expression in a number of policy documents:
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