In the past decades, hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), so-called air toxics or toxic air pollutants, have been detected in the atmospheric air at low concentration levels, causing public concern about the adverse effect of long-term exposure to HAPs on human health. Most HAPs belong to volatile organic compounds (VOCs). More seriously, most of them are known carcinogens or probably carcinogenic to humans. The objectives of this paper were to report the regulatory aspects and environmental monitoring management of toxic VOCs designated by Japan and Korea under the Air Pollution Control Act, and the Clean Air Conservation Act, respectively. It can be found that the environmental quality standards and environmental monitoring of priority VOCs (i.e., benzene, trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, and dichloromethane) have been set and taken by the state and local governments of Japan since the early 2000, but not completely established in Korea. On the other hand, the significant progress in reducing the emissions of some toxic VOCs, including acrylonitrile, benzene, 1,3-butadiene, 1,2-dichloroethane, dichloromethane, chloroform, tetrachloroethylene, and trichloroethylene in Japan was also described as a case study in the brief report paper.
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