VOC Analysis

SGS GAS, a specialist supplier of gas purity testing services has now expanded their in-house capabilities.

We now support Occupational and Environmental Health professionals with screening services to analyse ambient air for unknown volatile organic compounds, or VOC’s.

Harmful effects of VOC’s:

The EPA reports that VOCs often cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, nausea, and can also damage the liver, kidney, and central nervous system.

As VOC’s are commonly found in paints, varnishes, foams, and composite materials across all walks of life they represent a significant underlying health risk to the public.

The method consists of collecting air samples through a Thermal Desorption Tube then extracting the concentrated contaminant for analysis using Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry. This is often referred to as TD-GC-MS.

These desorption tubes are exposed to a volume of sample in order to concentrate the compounds before analysis. Our analytical method is based on the NIOSH 2549 method.


We use Universal tubes which enable the identification of a large selection of hydrocarbon compounds, but of course there are a range of different collection media available depending on each application and we work closely with our customers to meet their specific application requirements.

If a customer has identified a potential problem and requires support to identify the nature of the contaminant(s), we have tubes ready to use at all times. For convenience, our field engineers can also collect samples on site and offer a one stop shop service to our customers. For emergency situations results can be expedited and reported within 24 hours of sample collection.

If customers want to arrange periodic and routine testing, we can tune the method to more specific contaminants (by selecting specific sorbent tubes or mixtures of sorbents). This service can be tailored either for areas/rooms or for individual workers exposure.

If interested in this or any other analytical services, we can provide please contact SGS GAS and we will be happy to discuss further.