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A study of the critical uncertainty contributions in the analysis of PCBs in ambient air.

Brown, A S; Brown, R J C (2008) A study of the critical uncertainty contributions in the analysis of PCBs in ambient air. Journal of Automated Methods and Management in Chemistry, 2008. 179498

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Abstract

The measurement of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in ambient air requires a complex, multi-step sample preparation procedure prior to analysis by gas chromatography - mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Although routine analytical laboratories regularly carry out these measurements, they are often undertaken with little regard to the accurate calculation of measurement uncertainty, or appreciation of the sensitivity of the accuracy of the measurement to each step of the analysis. A measurement equation is developed for this analysis, and the contributory sources to the overall uncertainty when preparing calibration standards and other solutions by gravimetric and volumetric approaches are discussed and compared. For the example analysis presented, it is found found that the uncertainty of the measurement is dominated by the repeatability of the GC-MS analysis and suggested that volumetric (as opposed to gravimetric) preparation of solutions does not adversely affect the overall uncertainty. The methodology presented in this work can also be applied to analogous methods for similar analytes, for example those used to measure polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pesticides, dioxins or furans in ambient air.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Polychlorinated biphenyls, Uncertainty, Gas chromatography, Mass spectrometry, Trace analysis, Ambient air.
Subjects: Analytical Science
Analytical Science > Trace Analysis and Electrochemistry
Identification number/DOI: 10.1155/2008/179498
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2018 13:12
URI: http://eprintspublications.npl.co.uk/id/eprint/4139

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