VOC is the abbreviation for Volatile Organic Compounds. It appears frequently in the context of leather and describes a class of hydrocarbons that boil at temperatures of up to about 260 degrees Celsius and can thus evaporate into the surrounding air.
The term VOC is used in the investigation of substances that fog out of leather. These can be odours, silicones or other undesirable substances. This type of evaporation is tested especially for cars and furniture (wood polishes and varnishes).
The abbreviation VOC is also used for the chemicals used in the production of leather. Solvents such as petrol, alcohols etc. are volatile substances and evaporate.
Some people react to VOC with headaches, nausea, or fatigue. Long-term effects regarding allergy and carcinogenic effects have not yet been investigated. There is an endeavour in Europe to reduce the percentage of VOC in products for environmental reasons. Therefore the trend is towards solvent-free products and water-based products.