Alcohol is a commonly ingested psychoactive substance capable of interfering with neuropsychological functions. It can induce progressive behavioral changes ranging from a disinhibiting and anxiolytic eff ects up to coma and death. In its short-terms eff ects, alcohol affects the sense organs with symptoms such as visual field reductions, disturbance of binocular vision, diminished ability to hear, and, moreover, drastic decrease in judgement.
In a situation of real loss of attention, accuracy, and promptness in perceptual processes, alcohol gives a false sense of greater refi nement of the senses. This conduction may lead to injuries and can contribute to car accidents.
The matter of driving under the infl uence of alcohol is causing a growing concern around the world.
For this reason many countries have increased the measures to reduce the problem, such as rising the minimum legal drinking age and lowering the maximum permitted blood alcohol content.
If on one hand these measures contribute to increase public safety, on the other hand they pose great challanges to the forensic laboratories which carry out such analyses.
The analysis of ethanol in a complex matrix such as blood is a quite diff cult process in itself and the laboratories are therefore in the need of tools that can provide reliable, repeatable and fast analyses.
The most widely used technique for analyzing the blood alcohol content in forensic laboratories is the headspace - gas chromatography (HS-GC).
The headspace extraction allows a better quantification, a reduction in sample preparation and an increased throughput. The Gas Chromatograph provides the greatest fl exibility and reliability for analysing the ethanol content.
In this application note, the DANI Master SHS Static Headspace Sampler interfaced to a DANI Master GC Gas Chromatograph is used for the determination of ethanol. The widest sample capacity of the SHS vial tray combined with the optimized methodology, guarantees the maximum laboratory productivity allowing the analysis of 900 samples/day.


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