The population of European urban citizens and workers that are poisoned and killed by benzene emissions due to production processes alone is approximately 10,400 per annum. EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin said """"It is clear therefore, that air pollution has a long-term negative impact on EU citizens' health'in general"""". Directive 2000/69/EC highlights that """"The Commission is to take account of the most recent scientific research data and. of the most recent advances in metrology for reexamining the elements on which limit values are based."""" The directive outlines the """"method for the measurement of benzene will be the pumped sampling method on a sorbent cartridge followed by gas chromatographic determination that is currently being standardised by CEN."""" The problem with this method is that the sorbent cartridge samples have to be collected and transported to a laboratory for analysis by gas chromatography (GC) usually in conjunction with mass spectrometry (GC/MS). This time consuming process runs the risk of sample degradation, only provides a snapshot in time, has a long time delay between sample collection and availability of results and is quite costly Our innovative concept/solution aims to tackle these problems by developing a hand-held, benzene specific, integrated measurement instrument based on a state of the art PID detector in combination with novel/innovative inert polymer based micro, pre-concentrator and GC column. The micro GC column being capable of selection/separation of benzene from other similar species hydrocarbons. The system will also combine intrinsically safe GPS tracking & Telecommunications module that can automatically record and encrypt (for data authenticity/integrity) the exact latitude and longitude of the sampling location using Assisted GPS, along with the required pneumatic and electrical/electronic circuitry and an intrinsically safe rechargeable battery power source."
Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire