It is possible for individual VOCs to reach levels of concern in drinking water. There are currently 23 compounds regulated
as VOCs in drinking water. Of these, eight are described as human carcinogens, or probable or possible carcinogens.
The potential for VOCs
to be a health concern depends on the toxicity of the actual contaminant, the concentration of the contaminant, the exposure conditions and the duration or exposure. Factors like age, health condition, gender and exposure to other chemicals can impact potential health effects for individuals.
Employees who work in environments in which they are exposed to large amounts of particular VOCs in the air have been found to suffer negative health effects. If ingested above certain levels, various VOCs have been found to cause cancer, problems in the liver, kidneys and nervous system, and skin and reproductive issues.