Analysis of Residual Solvents

Residual solvents from construction materials are responsible for a number of health and safety concerns in the building industry. These range from exposure of construction workers to solvents from paint, glue and mastic materials to the long term exposure of the building occupants to aldehydes emitted from fibreboard or solvents from varnishes.

Industrial processes may also be affected by the deliberate or accidental inclusion of solvents in raw materials or the ‘carry over’ of residual solvents from one stage of the process to the next.

Residuals solvents present as process impurities have also be used in patent disputes to prove patent infringements.

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A range of chromatographic and mass spectrometric techniques are used based on the physical characteristics of the material being analysed and the residue sought. The most commonly requested investigations include the identification and quantification of residual solvent in a product or the contamination of a product affecting its saleability due to visible imperfections or changes in colour or odour.

SGS M-Scan offers analytical expertise in the detailed identification and quantification of residual solvents using a proven Thermal Desorption GC-MS method and Headspace GC-MS which offer improved specificity over GC alone.