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Analysis of volatile organic pollutants in water using headspace–trap GC–MS: Maximising performance for ppt-level VOCs

Introduction

Chemical contamination of rivers, reservoirs and ground water used as sources of drinking water originates from intentional and accidental discharges from industry, agriculture and urban pollution. This contamination requires extensive treatment, but such processes can also result in the formation of contaminants – such as the trihalomethanes that are formed by the reaction of the common oxidant chlorine with organic matter. Such contamination is naturally of concern, and acceptable levels for the volatile organic compound (VOC) content of drinking water are specified by a variety of regulatory bodies, including the European EEA, US EPA, Chinese EPA and WHO.

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