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Selected Publication:

Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2015

Authors: Kwak, J; Geier, BA; Fan, M; Gogate, SA; Rinehardt, SA; Watts, BS; Grigsby, CC; Ott, DK

Title: Detection of volatile organic compounds indicative of human presence in the air.

Source: J Sep Sci. 2015; 38(14):2463-2469

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Kwak Jae Hyock

Vetmed Research Units
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology

Volatile organic compounds were collected and analyzed from a variety of indoor and outdoor air samples to test whether human-derived compounds can be readily detected in the air and if they can be associated with human occupancy or presence. Compounds were captured with thermal desorption tubes and then analyzed by gas chromatography with mass spectrometry. Isoprene, a major volatile organic compound in exhaled breath, was shown to be the best indicator of human presence. Acetone, another major breath-borne compound, was higher in unoccupied or minimally occupied areas than in human-occupied areas, indicating that its majority may be derived from exogenous sources. The association of endogenous skin-derived compounds with human occupancy was not significant. In contrast, numerous compounds that are found in foods and consumer products were detected at elevated levels in the occupied areas. Our results revealed that isoprene and many exogenous volatile organic compounds consumed by humans are emitted at levels sufficient for detection in the air, which may be indicative of human presence.

Keywords Pubmed: Acetone/analysis
Breath Tests/methods*
Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
Reproducibility of Results
Volatile Organic Compounds/analysis*

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