PAH Testing

PAH Testing

PAH testing is used to identify polynuclear and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are fused aromatic rings starting with naphthalene C10H8 which increase in molecular weight. PAH compounds may also be made up, including five membered rings as in Benzo(j)fluoranthene. Because many of these compounds are known carcinogens, industry standards and government regulations heavily curb their use in consumer products. To keep our manufacturing clients compliant with these rules, Applied Technical Services performs PAH testing on sample materials.

What are They Commonly Found In?

Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) — “PAHs often are byproducts of petroleum processing or combustion. Many of these compounds are highly carcinogenic at relatively low levels.” — Eaton and others, 2005

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) — "PAHs are a group of organic contaminants that form from the incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons, such as coal and gasoline. PAHs are an environmental concern because they are toxic to aquatic life and because several are suspected human carcinogens." — Van Metre and others, 1996
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) — "A compound built from two or more benzene rings. Sources of PAHs include fossil fuels and incomplete combustion of organic matter (in auto engines, incinerators, and even forest fires)." — National Research Council, 1994
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) — "PAH compounds are a generally hazardous class of organic compounds found in petroleum and emissions from fossil fuel utilization and conversion processes. PAHs are neutral, nonpolar organic molecules that comprise two or more benzene rings arranged in various configurations … Members of this class of compounds have been identified as exhibiting toxic and hazardous properties, and for this reason the EPA [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency] has included 16 PAHs on its list of priority pollutants to be monitored in water and wastes." — National Research Council, 1997
Current Regulations on PAHs
1. All above listed are regulated by Category 1 of ZEK 01.4-08 of German ZLS and its amendments
2. Items above which have an asterisk and are italicized are regulated by California Proposition 65
How many PAHs are there?
There are hundreds of PAHs with higher molecular weights.

What Instrumentation Does ATS Use for PAH Testing?

ATS utilizes Gas Chromatography / Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) with a current detection limit of 100 parts per billion (ppb) for PAH testing.

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Chemical Analysis