Air Sample Analysis for Aldehydes

Aldehydes are prominent in industrial processes involved in the manufacture of resins, wood products, paper, or leather goods as well as power plants. They are precursors to ozone in smog and are associated with pulmonary and respiratory problems. Aldehyde vapours can cause irritant effects to the mucous membrane, the eyes, the pharynx and respiratory organs.

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Formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acrolein have been found to have the most significant effect on human health. They are found in high concentrations in combustion engine exhausts and tobacco smoke.

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Depending on how the samples are collected, Aldehyde analysis is carried out by either GC-MS or HPLC.

To meet the requirements of the NIOSH 2539/2541/2536/2531 method, sampling should be on to Hydroxymethyl piperidine treated XAD-2 sorbent tubes. Analysis is by GC-MS.

Analysis for the following compounds is carried out at the laboratory-

Acetaldehyde, Acrolein, Butyraldehyde, Crotonaldehyde, Formaldehyde, Furfural, Heptanal, Hexanal, Isobutyraldehyde, Isovaleraldehyde, Propionaldehyde, Valeraldehyde.

Other methods, BS ISO 1600-3, MDHS 102, NIOSH 2016, NIOSH 2532, NIOSH 2018, OSHA 1007, OSHA 64  require samples to be collected on DNPH coated silica gel tubes, these are analysed by HPLC for the following compounds -

Acetaldehyde, Benzaldehyde, Butyraldehyde, Crotonaldehyde, Formaldehyde, Isovaleraldehyde, Valeraldehyde, and Propionaldehyde.

Gluteraldehyde and Acrolein are also available by HPLC but by request only.