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Determination of complex mixtures of volatile organic compounds in ambient air: an overview
- Wang, D. K. W., Austin, C. C.
- Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 2006 v.386 no.4 pp. 1089-1098
- air, analytical methods, emissions, environmental monitoring, hygiene, inventories, volatile organic compounds
- This article reviews developments in the sampling and analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in ambient air since the 1970s, particularly in the field of environmental monitoring. Global monitoring of biogenic and anthropogenic VOC emissions is briefly described. Approaches used for environmental monitoring of VOCs and industrial hygiene VOC exposure assessments are compared. The historical development of the sampling and analytical methods used is discussed, and the relative advantages and disadvantages of sorbent and canister methods are identified. Overall, there is considerable variability in the reliability of VOC estimates and inventories. In general, canister methods provide superior precision and accuracy and are particulary useful for the analysis of complex mixtures of VOCs. Details of canister methods are reviewed in a companion paper.