Almost all materials release substances into their immediate environment. This also applies to building products or materials used to manufacture vehicles. However, this knowledge does not provide any information about the effect of the emitted substances on humans or the environment.
Examples of sources of emissions include biological degradation processes (mold, bacteria), human emissions, sewage systems, industrial or agricultural waste gases or materials installed in indoor areas. Gaseous emissions are also released through cooking, smoking and the use of cosmetics.
These emissions are known as VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Depending on their volatility or boiling point, they are classified as VVOC (very volatile organic compounds), VOC (volatile organic compounds) or SVOC (semi volatile organic compounds). An additional classification is made depending on their origin and chemical function (e.g. MVOC (microbial induced VOC), solvents, fuels/operating fluids, fragrances, flame retardants and wood preservatives). The substances and quantities released must be known in order to estimate the impact of these emissions.
The necessary analyses and tests for various areas are among the services offered by Fraunhofer IBP.