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NoVOC (and LoVOC) are words used to describe products and substances that emit no (zero) or low (less than minimum acceptable regulatory standards) rates of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). New technologies involving the replacement of solvents with water-based solutions will lead to healthier workplaces and products.
NoVOC and LoVOC are trademarked but are becoming more commonly used as descriptive terms when referring to safer and more environmentally sound technologies, processes, and products. The commonly used descriptor "eco" as a prefix when marketing products that are designed to appear environmentally friendly when in fact they contain substances that are harmful to the environment and are only slightly less so than their standard counterpart can be misleading. NoVOC and LoVOC more accurately reflect the content of harmful substances in a given product or process. An "eco..." product should reference the terms NoVOC or LoVOC and may offer easy access to the manufacturer's Material safety data sheet (MSDS) related to the product.
Many "eco" products are in fact environmentally sound but the term has often become abused as a tool to gain more broad based acceptance of products or processes in an increasingly environmentally conscious marketplace.