We develop a multi-effect evaluation method to assess integrated impact of VOCs.
Enable policy-makers to identify important emission sources, regions, and key species.
Solvent usage and industrial process are the most important anthropogenic sources.
Styrene, toluene, ethylene, benzene, and m/p-xylene are key species to be cut.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) play important roles in the atmosphere via three main pathways: photochemical ozone formation, secondary organic aerosol production, and direct toxicity to humans. Few studies have integrated these effects to prioritize control measures for VOCs sources. In this study, we developed a multi-effects evaluation methodology based on updated emission inventories and source profiles, by combining the ozone formation potential (OFP), secondary organic aerosol potential (SOAP), and VOC toxicity data. We derived species-specific emission inventories for 152 sources. The OFPs, SOAPs, and toxicity of each source were estimated, the contribution and sharing of source to each of these adverse effects were calculated. Weightings were given to the three adverse effects by expert scoring, and then the integrated effect was determined. Taking 2012 as the base year, solvent use and industrial process were found to be the most important anthropogenic sources, accounting for 24.2% and 23.1% of the integrated effect, respectively, followed by biomass burning, transportation, and fossil fuel combustion, each had a similar contribution ranging from 16.7% to 18.6%. The top five industrial sources, including plastic products, rubber products, chemical fiber products, the chemical industry, and oil refining, accounted for nearly 70.0% of industrial emissions. Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Guangdong were the five provinces contributing the largest integrated effects. For the VOC species from emissions showed the largest contributions were styrene, toluene, ethylene, benzene, and m/p-xylene.