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Pure Appl. Chem., 2002, Vol. 74, No. 12, pp. 2281-2291

Conventional analytical methods for chemical warfare agents

H. H. Hill, Jr. and S. J. Martin

Department of Chemistry, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4630, USA

Abstract: Analytical methods that are currently used for the detection and identification of chemical warfare agents are reviewed and classified by the number of dimensions of information they provide. Single dimensional sensors target specific compounds or classes of compounds. Although they can be less expensive and more portable than multidimensional sensors, multidimensional sensors detect a broader threat spectrum with greater precision and accuracy. The recommendation for analytical field verification during inspections under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is to use simple two-dimensional analytical methods, such as gas chromatography (GC) or ion mobility spectrometry (IMS), for on-site screening of chemical weapons (CW) agents or to fully equip a modern, mobile analytical laboratory located in an airplane, which can be moved rapidly throughout the world to each inspection site and provide high-quality analytical data on-site.