Phenols are both naturally occurring and manufactured chemical substances. This type of compounds are found in a number of consumer products such as medicines and personal care products and in some food. In the environment phenols may be transportated by air and water or contaminated products. Among the possible toxic effects of these pollutants in the environment are shortened lifespan, reproductive problems, even death of animals and plants can be included.
Over-exposure to phenols may affect also human health. The Occupational Safety and Environmental Administration set a limit of 5 ppm of phenols in workroom air to protect workers. Such low concentrations require the use of a highly sensitive technique.
Thermal desorption / gas chromatography is the preferred and most convenient technique for separation and simultaneous determination of phenols.
The following work has been carried out using thermal desorption tubes and subsequent gas chromatographic analysis.


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