Frequently Asked Questions

How does the sampler work?

The sampler is like a sponge. Certain chemicals prefer the sampling material over the surrounding environment (air). So when they are absorbed into the sampler, they stay stuck inside.

Can the samplers detect low levels of chemicals?

Yes. Our lab at Oregon State University can detect chemicals below the detection limits used by the Environmental Protection Agency, so these samplers are very sensitive.

How do you detect the chemicals trapped in the samplers?

We use a technique called Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, or GCMS. To learn more, visit this interactive display about GCMS.