Interested in getting some samples analyzed with GC/MS

Off-topic conversations and chit-chat.

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I've taken a number of samples of contamination (floor wax stripper residue) that has spread throughout my apartment, as a result of product advice I received from a janitorial supply company, as well as the manufacturer of the product that was recommended. One of the samples is liquid, the rest are solid.

Ultimately, proof of apartment-wide contamination, with Benzyl Alcohol and Glycol Phenyl Ether (indicated by the SDS of the product used,) would help me convince my landlord of the need to replace my bathroom floor and sand the wood floors in my apartment.

Beyond the initial analysis, I might be interested in pursuing ‘unknown substance testing.'

Thank you!

I'm retired now, with no access to equipment.

That said: if such product had been used on the floors, likely some trace would remain. Yes, GCMS would be more specific and definitive than doing similar assay by GC or by HPLC with UV detector (Benzyl Alcohol and Glycol Phenyl Ether have structures that are amenable to assay by all those techniques.

But how much residue is "too much"? 1 ppm? 1 ppb? 0.1%?

Likely GCMS assay by a commercial lab would cost well north of $1000, they'd need to purchase standards of Benzyl Alcohol and Glycol Phenyl Ether, and develop chromatographic conditions. So assay may cost more than replacing the floor!

If I was doing this by GC or GCMS, I'd likely use trimethylsilyl derivatization, as any GCMS peaks would be more definitive. But even with GCMS and a real-good identification/search library, I'd still match retention times v. standards if I was doing something that might be used in a court of law.
Just to expand on CPG's very pertinent reply

1. Amongst other uses, both compounds are commonly found preservatives at low levels in many products
2. What makes you think that you have contamination and in what way? e.g. some residual odour?
3. Why do you consider these as a contamination ?
4. Exactly where do you think that you have this "contamination "? How did you take your samples?
5. As CPG said, the analysis cost for just these two compounds on your many samples would be far more than the cost of refurbishment
6. If you then add in "unknown substance testing" then you will need bottomless pockets on cost

Presumably that it is the air quality you are concerned about, then is that not the best place to start rather than testing for VOCs in the floor?
If what is in the floor releases into the atmosphere at lower than the local legal limit you might just have to put up with it.

Also if you decide you want the floor tested, how do you know if the samples you have are representative of the whole floor?

Give me a ring and I'll be happy to discuss it.
Alexei Gapeev
Millis Scientific, Inc.
Tel. 877-844-2635
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