Source and sink processes of phosgene (COCl2) in the troposphere are reviewed. Sources are identified as decomposition of chlorinated hydrocarbons in both troposphere and stratosphere, which can be expected to increase in the future. Sinks are dry deposition and hydrolysis which, within clouds, is of the time scale of hours, and photolysis, which will not be of importance in the troposphere. Though above the cloud layer the lifetime of phosgene is expected to be greater than 10 years, hydrolysis during the transit through clouds and dry deposition will be the dominant sink, leading to an estimated residence time of approximately a few days. © 1992.