Forensic Toxicology

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 17–22 | Cite as

On-site determination of nerve and mustard gases using a field-portable gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer

  • Hiroyuki Sekiguchi
  • Koji Matsushita
  • Shigeharu Yamashiro
  • Yasuhiro Sano
  • Yasuo Seto
  • Taisuke Okuda
  • Akiyoshi Sato
Original Article


A field-portable gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (the Hapsite system) was evaluated for onsite determination of nerve gases and blistering agents. The analytical sequence involved gas sampling for 1 min, microtrap concentration (1 min), apolar capillary gas chromatographic separation (10 min), electron ionization, quadrupole mass spectrometric data acquisition, and personal computer-based data analysis. Vapor containing 1mg/m3 sarin (GB), 1mg/m3 soman (GD), 3mg/m3 tabun (GA), and 0.5mg/m3 mustard gas (HD) was analyzed using the Hapsite system. The chemical warfare agents (CWAs) were detected within 10 min, and identified from their respective mass spectra according to the built-in NIST library database. Being based on the signal levels of the CWA peaks observed in mass chromatograms for m/z 99 (GB), 126 (GD), 70 (GA), and 109 (HD), the detection limits (S/N = 3) were estimated to be 0.2, 0.5, 8, and 0.3μg/m3, respectively. A carryover phenomenon was observed after injecting actual CWA samples, necessitating several blank-air purges of the system. The extent of adsorption was in the order: HD > GA > GD > GB.


Chemical warfare agents Nerve gas Mustard gas Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry Air monitoring On-site detection 


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Copyright information

© Japanese Association of Forensic Toxicology and Springer-Verlag Tokyo 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroyuki Sekiguchi
    • 1
  • Koji Matsushita
    • 1
  • Shigeharu Yamashiro
    • 1
  • Yasuhiro Sano
    • 1
  • Yasuo Seto
    • 1
  • Taisuke Okuda
    • 2
  • Akiyoshi Sato
    • 3
  1. 1.National Research Institute of Police ScienceChibaJapan
  2. 2.Inficon Co., Ltd.YokohamaJapan
  3. 3.Teikoku Sen-i Co., Ltd.TokyoJapan

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