Journal Article

A GC-MS Method for the Detection of Toluene and Ethylbenzene in Volatile Substance Abuse

B.M. El-Haj, A.M. Al-Amri, M.H. Hassan, R.K. Bin-Khadem and A.A. Al-Hadi

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 24, issue 6, pages 390-394
Published in print September 2000 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online September 2000 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI:
A GC-MS Method for the Detection of Toluene and Ethylbenzene in Volatile Substance Abuse

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The interference of some substances with the gas chromatography-flame ionization detection and gas chromatography-Fourier transform infrared detection of toluene and ethylbenzene in volatile substance abuse poses problems. A gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method that will overcome such interference has been developed for the detection of toluene and/or ethylbenzene in the headspace of preparations and products containing these substances and in the headspace of blood samples in the cases of volatile substance abuse. The method is based on converting toluene to benzoic acid via the formation of benzotrichloride. The latter compound was obtained upon the reaction of toluene with chlorine gas under direct sunlight conditions. In the presence of water, benzotrichloride was converted to benzoic acid. Ethylbenzene was converted to benzoic acid and two phenylethanols via the formation of side chain chloro-substituted phenylethanes followed by reaction with water. The chloro-substituted phenylethanes were obtained by the reaction of ethylbenzene with chlorine under direct sunlight conditions. The benzoic acid resulting from toluene and/or ethylbenzene and the two phenylethanols resulting from ethylbenzene were detected by GC-MS as their trimethylsilyl (TMS) derivatives. For the method to be viable for the detection of volatile substance abuse, the chlorination reactions were effected in the gaseous state.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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