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Issue 5, 2002
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Workplace monitoring for volatile organic compounds using thermal desorption-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry

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Abstract

The interest in the identification of volatile organic compounds in the workplace has been a major focus of many National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) field studies. A primary technique for sampling and analysis of these compounds is summarized by NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM) 2549. This is a screening method that uses a multi-bed sorbent to trap a wide variety of compounds and compound classes. Thermal desorption techniques are used as a first attempt to characterize potential contaminants in a workplace and to determine what future sampling and analyses must be performed. Field examples are provided to show the versatility of thermal desorption methods and techniques. Due to their sensitivity, thermal desorption tube methods are sometimes required in order to measure the workplace concentrations of unusual compounds. In other situations, the exposures are too high or varied to make thermal desorption tubes practical. In these cases, the identification of contaminants with thermal desorption tubes leads to new method developments for the quantification of specific compounds using more conventional solid sorbent–solvent desorption based methods.

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Mar 2002, accepted on 05 Jun 2002 and first published on 02 Jul 2002


Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/B203000B
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2002,4, 679-684

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    Workplace monitoring for volatile organic compounds using thermal desorption-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry

    A. A. Grote and E. R. Kennedy, J. Environ. Monit., 2002, 4, 679
    DOI: 10.1039/B203000B

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