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Thermo Fisher Scientific Develops Method to Detect Dangerous Carbonyl Compounds

The Thermo Scientific Accela 1250Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, today announced that it has developed a powerful method for the trace-level analysis of carbonyl compounds in a wide range of matrices. Carbonyl compounds, hazardous pollutants released from diverse sources including motor vehicles and industrial emissions, have been shown to have adverse effects on human health. This new UHPLC/UV method enables the separation, detection and quantitation of parts per billion (ppb) concentrations of low molecular weight carbonyls in complex samples, safeguarding human health and ensuring compliance with industry regulations. The new method is detailed in an application note entitled "Quantitative Analysis of Carbonyl-DNPH Derivatives by UHPLC/UV," available to download via  

Carbonyl compounds from motor vehicle and industrial emissions are precursors to ground-level ozone, a major component of smog, and are strongly associated with respiratory and pulmonary problems. They are also found in food and drinking water and various indoor living and working environments. Formaldehyde, a common indoor pollutant, is released from numerous sources including plywood, furniture, paper products, glues, cosmetics, tobacco smoke and many others. Formaldehyde and acetaldehyde have been classified as probable or known human carcinogens by regulatory agencies including the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and International Agency of Cancer Research (IARC).  

In accordance with the Clean Air Act, the EPA enforces ambient monitoring of three carbonyl pollutants - formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acetone - and recommends surveillance of several others in areas with persistently high ozone levels. In addition, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) sets legal permissible carbonyl exposure limits in the workplace. This has created demand for sensitive and accurate methods for trace-level analysis of carbonyl compounds in a range of matrices to determine exposure pathways, health outcomes and effective pollution control strategies. 

The new Thermo Fisher UHPLC/UV method is a powerful alternative to other techniques currently used to analyze carbonyl compounds including conventional HPLC-based procedures, which may be limited by long run times, poor resolution and low separation efficiencies. In the Thermo Fisher method, UPHLC/UV analysis is performed on a Thermo Scientific Accela UPHLC system coupled with sub-2µm Thermo Scientific Hypersil GOLD columns. The use of sub-2µm particle, high-performance columns facilitates rapid analysis of challenging samples by improving chromatographic resolution, speed and sensitivity. The AccelaTM 1250 also offers flexibility of performing both HPLC and UHPLC analyses and is capable of operational pressures of up to 1250 bar due to its very low internal back pressure.  

For more information on the new Thermo Fisher UHPLC/UV method for the separation, detection and quantitation of carbonyl compounds or to obtain a copy of the application note, please call +1 866-463-6522 or visit

Thermo Scientific is part of Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science.

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