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Chemical Warfare Agents and use of Thermal Desorption-GC-MS to achieve improved trace-level detection (T. Murphy, G. Roberts & G. Davies)

Wednesday, 1 April 2009 at 3:49:PM

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) (1993) outlawed chemical warfare agent (CWA) use and specified that destruction of agent stockpiles should advance within set deadlines. Ongoing CWA-related research projects (for example, civil defense, agent destruction, and protection) require monitoring of airborne CWA concentrations at the lowest possible level and with accurate identification. The use of handheld devices in these situations is compromised by their lack of sensitivity and their tendency to give false positives. Thermal desorption (TD), combined with GC–MS, is the only technique offering sufficient sensitivity and specificity for identifying and measuring trace CWAs. This article discusses the analysis of a wide range of CWAs at current exposure limits and describes a number of recent beneficial developments in TD and associated analytical technologies for the identification and quantification of CWAs at these levels. 

This article has been published in LC-GC's Spectroscopy supplement on Homeland Security. The article can be read here: http://tinyurl.com/d36377

 

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