Determination of airborne isocyanates

H. Henneken, M. Vogel, U. Karst

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    21 Citations (Scopus)


    Isocyanates are important in industrial hygiene and workplace monitoring. Owing to their severe acute toxicity and sensitizing properties, analytical methods with high sampling efficiency and sensitivity in the low ppb to ppt range are required. The reactivity of isocyanates necessitates initial derivatization with nucleophilic agents—usually amines—for stabilization and enrichment; this is often followed by chromatographic separation with spectroscopic, electrochemical, or mass spectrometric detection. Sampling strategies for airborne isocyanates comprise active, i.e. pumped, or passive, i.e. diffusive, methods; the method selected depends on the application. Whereas active methods rely mainly on impingers, reagent-coated filters, or sampling tubes, passive samplers make use of reagent-coated filters, the surface of which is connected to the air sample by diffusion channels. Because airborne isocyanates are prone to occur in different forms, i.e. as vapors, as aerosols, or adsorbed on particulate matter, denuder sampling has been introduced, thus enabling simultaneous collection of gaseous and aerosol isocyanates. The first part of this review summarizes chemical methods and reagents which have been introduced for derivatization of airborne isocyanates. The advantages and drawbacks of the individual derivatization procedures and their combination with different detection principles are evaluated. In the second part, the most recent developments in air sampling for isocyanates, with special focus on diffusive sampling, are reviewed and critically discussed.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)219-236
    JournalAnalytical and bioanalytical chemistry
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • IR-74799
    • METIS-246545

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