Detecting Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Download Guide

Back to Gas Guides

VOCs are chemical compounds, they are described as volatile because they evaporate easily, releasing molecules into the atmosphere. Your exposure to VOCs can be monitored using gas detection equipment.

ION Science manufactures gas detection equipment for monitoring exposure to toxic levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

VOC Issues In Heavy Industries

The most well-known threats to workers from VOCs are their toxic effects.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a fundamental parameter in assessing air quality. The European Environment Agency (EEA) reported in 2018 that air pollution was the cause of almost 50,000 premature deaths in Europe per year. This finding pre-empted the head of the EEA agency stating “Air pollution is an invisible killer and we need to step up our efforts to address the causes,”.
– BBC News

Not only do fugitive emissions from heavy industrial plants result in health & safety and environmental problems, there are also economic implications. It is estimated over £80million worth of VOCs being released into the atmosphere each year.

Projects Systems Technologies, Oil & Gas Facilities

Health and Safety Issues

Volatile Organic Compound (VOCs) gases are found in almost every industry. Typically, in heavier industries, especially steel foundries and refineries the concentrations of VOCs are higher. Also, the more hazardous VOCs such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX) are likely to be present. The risks associated with VOCs include:

  • Health and Safetyvoc-issues-factory-image
  • Environmental
  • Economic

The most well-known threats to workers from VOCs are their multiple toxic effects. The effects we are most familiar with are acute risks, such as eye, nose, and throat irritation, dizziness, and high concentrations unconsciousness, and even death. However, the potentially larger threat comes from low-level long-term exposures we are not aware of.

Levels Of Volatile Organic Compounds

Monitoring for VOCs in heavy industries presents many challenges. The environmental conditions can be extremely harsh, temperatures range from -20 to over 50°C with humidity often in the high 90’s and even 100%.

In typhoon conditions. Coupled with this is the wide range of concentration that needs to accurately be measured. Explosion and asphyxiation concentrations are in the order of 10,000 ppm, acute health risks 10s – 100s of ppm, chronic health risks 1 – 0.1 ppm, and environmental emissions ppb, and lower.

Pellistors are the most common sensor type for detecting gasses and vapors over 5,000 ppm. To detect gasses and vapors below this photo-ionization detection is the preferred sensing technology.

Volatile Organic Compound Detection

In conclusion, there are significant financial, environmental, and health benefits associated with taking a proactive approach to monitoring VOCs in the heavy industrial environment. The resulting gains in operational efficiency and worker wellbeing are vital in creating a sustainable business and achieving operational excellence. The photoionization detector (PID) has proven to be an ideal solution for personal worker protection but effective in, fugitive emission and fence-line monitoring applications.

Download our FREE Guide

“VOC Issues In Heavy Industries”

The VOC issues in heavy industries guide which can be downloaded below provides the reader with an in-depth balance of knowledge covering three key areas within heavier industries. We cover basics health & safety, environmental & economic conditions while discussing why photoionization detector (PID) has proven to be an ideal solution for personal worker protection but effective in, fugitive emission and fenceline monitoring applications.


Download Guide

Related Guides

Aromatic Gases – What Are They?

Aromatic gases contain at least one aromatic ring of which benzene is the simplest form. Benzene itself forms the well know group of compounds (BTEX).

View Details

Benzene Detection – Fixed Instruments

Benzene Detection (Fixed Instruments) - ION Science's Fixed Photoionization Detectors protect workers and the public from benzene exposure.

View Details

Commercial AQ Monitor Comparison

Commercial AQ Monitor Comparison, in this guide we out line the main advantages and disadvantages of the AQ VOC sensors under review; MOS, ETO & PID.

View Details

COVID-19 The Impact On Air Pollution

COVID-19 lockdown events have reduced the population-weighted concentration of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter levels in many countries.

View Details

Detecting Arson Accelerants For Fire/Arson Investigators

Detecting arson accelerants early is vital, as it helps investigators save time and determine if the cause of the fire was accidental or deliberate.

View Details

Detecting Volatile Organic Compounds In Laboratories

Detecting Volatile Organic Compounds is crucial while there is a high rise in the use of sanitizers and disinfectants within our healthcare facilities.

View Details

Fenceline Monitoring

Hazardous air pollutants are those known to cause cancer and other serious health impacts. This is why fenceline monitoring is important!

View Details

Fugitive Emissions Monitoring

Gas leak equipment reduces the likelihood of leaks and the best way to reduce fugitive emissions is through regular leak testing and maintenance.

View Details

Gas Detection Equipment – Choosing The Correct One

Gas detection for safety is pivotal, so Ion science cuts no corners when it comes to our gas detectors. Explore our variety of gas detectors today!

View Details

Gas Detection Instrument – Do you Require One In Your Industry?

The Gas detection Instrument guide will help you understand the requirement for each type of instrument and which will be best suited to your industry.

View Details

Gas Detection System – PID Or FID?

Gas Detection System, the main differences and benefits of using photoionisation detection and flame detection when monitoring fugitive emissions.

View Details

Ground Gas Monitoring – Subsurface Guide

Ground gas monitoring - contaminated ground such as from landfill sites, infilled ground and spilled or leaked petroleum hydrocarbons.

View Details

Hazardous VOC Gases Found Within Hospitals

Hazardous VOC gases found within hospitals can accumulate and, if left unattended, can result in building-related illnesses or Sick Building Syndrome.

View Details

Hazards Of Gas Leaks Found Within Laboratories

Identifying the hazards of gas leaks early improves the facility itself, it’s processes, and the safety of the people who work within this environment.

View Details

HAZMAT Emergency Response

The HAZMAT emergency response guide explains the great benefits of PID instruments in a response situation because they provide an immediate response.

View Details

Hazmat Spill Response

A HAZMAT spill response team need to identify the unknown dangers quickly at any scene, hence why the power of PID in the event of a cleanup is critical.

View Details

Humid Environment – A Guide to Detecting VOCs

A humid environment requires a vital component to monitor VOCs, so in this guide, we provide information on the best PIDs to tackle humid applications.

View Details

Humidity Effects On PID Instruments

Humidity Effects On PID Instruments can have a major effect on older models, but due to recent technology a solution has been identified and adapted.

View Details

Humidity Interference In VOC Measurements

Humidity Interference in VOC measurements used to be a limitation to the use of PIDs in the past, until now. New designs provide almost no humidity effects.

View Details

Indoor Air Volatiles Monitored By PID

In most indoor environments, air contains common indoor air volatiles which are readily detectable by PID at a total VOC concentration of a few 10's ppb.

View Details

Leak Detection In Biotechnology Laboratories

Leak detection within analytical laboratory equipment promotes good laboratory practice, and preventative maintenance offers a number of benefits.

View Details

Measurement Instrumentation For Fire/Arson Investigators

Measurement Instrumentation, the benefits and comparison of trained sniffer dogs and photoionisation detectors for the use within fire/arson investigations.

View Details

Monitoring Aromatic Gases

Monitoring aromatic gases early is crucial to limit the effects on worker’s health. This all depends upon how much they are exposed to and for how long.

View Details

Monitoring Indoor Air For VOCs

Given the range of VOC’s in air and their variable harmfulness, it might seem preferable to monitor the more ubiquitous and harmful of them individually.

View Details

Monitoring Toxic Gases Within A Laboratory Environment

Monitoring toxic gases within a laboratory environment is crucial, expecially when dealing with IVF as exposing them to VOCs can impact their development.

View Details

Occupational Exposure To Toxic Chemicals

Understanding occupational exposure to toxic chemicals on a daily basis is important when working within the Oil & Gas industry.

View Details

Reducing VOCs Within IVF Laboratories

Reducing VOCs within IVF laboratories is crucial to keep standards of quality and safety within the laboratory to the highest possible level.

View Details

Semiconductor Guide – Role of VOCs in fabrication, worker safety and community exposure

Our semiconductor guide provides extensive knowledge about VOCs in fabrication, worker safety and community exposure.

View Details

Site Investigation and Remediation

When taking out soil investigation, the presence of VOCs which effect soil biota should be considered harmful in respect of their many wider benefits.

View Details

Soil Remediation With Photoionization Detection

Soil remediation, which is the reduction of contaminant concentrations within the soil and to reduce contaminants so that they are suitable for use,

View Details

Soil Screening For VOCs By Headspace Measurements

Soil sampling & amp; analysis of VOCs requires careful sample retrieval handling. Most VOCs, it is often possible and advantageous to analyse a sample headspace.

View Details

Subsurface Monitoring – A Guide to Soil/Ground Gas Risk

Subsurface Monitoring is critical and should be considered before any development on top of any soil, As if left uncontrolled can lead to serious effects.

View Details

Transportation Of Hazardous Materials Dangers

Transportation of hazardous materials can be transported in many different ways over very long and equally short distances, carrying many risk factors.

View Details

Urban Air Quality

It's estimated that poor urban air quality accounts for 7 million deaths per year. Unless poor air quality can be improved, this will rise.

View Details

VOCs In Soil Remediation – A Buyers Guide To Measuring

VOCs in soil remediation can be easily identified with the use of PIDs. They are simple to use and provide quick, accurate results.

View Details

Gas Detection Equipment for the Detection of Volatile Organic Compounds

Tiger Handheld VOC Gas Detector

Tiger handheld VOC gas detector is a revolutionary portable PID instrument for rapid, accurate detection of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Product Details
Tiger LT Portable VOC Gas Detector

Tiger LT portable VOC gas detector for fast, accurate detection of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with resistance to humidity and contamination.

Product Details
Tiger Select Portable Benzene Gas Detector

Tiger Select is a portable benzene gas detector with two operation modes for rapid detection of benzene and Total Aromatic Compounds (TACs) providing accurate, reliable data.

Product Details
Cub 10.6 eV Personal VOC Gas Detector

Cub 10.6 eV personal VOC gas detector is worn within the breathing zone to detect volatile organic compounds, keeping you safe within your working environment.

Product Details
Falco Diffused – Fixed VOC Gas Detector

Falco Diffused, Fixed VOC Gas Detector is ideal for detecting VOCs and TACs in areas such as refineries and petrol chemical facilities.

Product Details
Falco Pumped – Fixed VOC Gas Monitor

Falco pumped instruments are ideal for detecting VOCs and TACs in difficult locations such as underground or in confined spaces.

Product Details
GasCheck G Handheld Helium Gas Leak Detector

Designed for the search and location of gas leaks, the GasCheck G handheld helium gas leak detector provides you with effective detection of almost any gas or gas mixture.

Product Details
GasCheck Tesla Portable Helium Leak Detector

ION Sciences portable helium leak detector is highly sensitive & effective for use within high magnetic fields.

Product Details
Titan Benzene Specific Gas Monitor

Titan fixed benzene specific monitor provides continuous detection for plant and worker safety in petrol chemical environments.

Product Details
TVOC 2 Continuous VOC Gas Detector

TVOC 2 is a fixed, continuous VOC monitor that accurately detects and measures Total Volatile Organic Compounds with in industrial working environments.

Product Details
(MVI) Portable Mercury Vapor Indicator

MVI is a portable mercury vapor indicator that accurately detects mercury in just three seconds with no saturation!

Product Details
GasClam 2 Continuous Ground Gas Detector

GasClam2 ground gas detector is a unique in-borehole gas monitoring system developed for the unattended collection of long-term gas data.

Product Details
SF6 LeakCheck P1:p Gas Leak Detector

The SF6 LeakCheck P1:p is an award winning SF6 gas leak detector that uses negative Ion Capture (NIC) technology designed for location, leak testing and measurement of SF6 leaks in high electrical switchgear.

Product Details
SF6 AreaCheck P2 – Fixed Gas Detector

Fixed SF6 gas detector uses award winning Negative Ion Capture (NIC) technology and is designed to continuously monitor SF6.

Product Details
SF6 Leakmate – Portable SF6 Leak Monitor

The SF6 Leakmate is a cost effective, easy to use portable SF6 leak monitor with selectable sensitivity and automatic zero.

Product Details
Fire Investigation Kit

Tiger fire investigation kit provides fast, accurate detection of VOCs for fire and arson investigations with resistance to humidity and contamination.

Product Details

Download your FREE Guide

Simply complete the form below to obtain your FREE Guide on “VOCs Issues In Heavy Industries”.