Industrial solvents and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have infiltrated groundwater that quenches the thirst of some 35 to 50 million Americans, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, which will soon release its first national report card on the presence of these chemicals. The USGS studied groundwater from wells, evaluating data collected from 1985 to 1995 and focusing on areas not thought to be contaminated by spills or industrial activities. The agency found that the chemicals generally occur in trace amounts that pose little threat to public health, but their presence is a warning that better safeguards are needed to prevent further contamination, experts say. VOCs, some of which are known human carcinogens, are used in many industries and are present in gasoline and household products like cleaning solvents.