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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2009, Article ID 148527, 4 pages
Research Article

Determining the Levels of Volatile Organic Pollutants in Urban Air Using a Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Method

1Technical University, 15 C. Daicoviciu Street, 400020 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
2Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute, The Open University, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK
3Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, Institute for Molecular Science and Technology, CNR, Corso Stati Uniti 4, Padova, Italy
4Centre for Environment and Health, 23A Cetatii Street, 400 166 Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Received 13 June 2009; Revised 7 October 2009; Accepted 2 November 2009

Academic Editor: Judith C. Chow

Copyright © 2009 Simona Nicoara et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The paper presents the application of a method based on coupled gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, using an isotopically labelled internal standard for the quantitative analysis of benzene (B), toluene (T), ethyl benzene (E), and o-, m-, p-xylenes (X). Their atmospheric concentrations were determined based on short-term sampling, in different sites of Cluj-Napoca, a highly populated urban centre in N-W Romania, with numerous and diversified road vehicles with internal combustion engines. The method is relatively inexpensive and simple and shows good precision and linearity in the ranges of 7–60 (B), 13–90 (T), 7–50 (E), 10–70 (X-m,p), and 20–130 (X-o). The limits of quantitation/detection of the method LOQ/LOD are of 10/5 (Xo), 5/3 (B, E, X-m,p), and of 3/1 (T), respectively.