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Air monitoring for synthetic cannabinoids in a UK prison: Application of personal air sampling and fixed sequential sampling with TD-GC×GC-TOF MS analysis.

Paul, R., Smith, S., Gent, L. and Sutherill, R., 2021. Air monitoring for synthetic cannabinoids in a UK prison: Application of personal air sampling and fixed sequential sampling with TD-GC×GC-TOF MS analysis. Drug Testing and Analysis. (In Press)

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DOI: 10.1002/dta.3101

Abstract

In recent years there have been increasing complaints from staff working in UK prisons of secondary exposure to psychoactive drug fumes, often believed to be synthetic cannabinoids. Our pilot study aimed to provide an initial evidence base for this issue and reveal compounds of interest within indoor prison air. Here we present a new method for the detection of synthetic cannabinoids in air, and demonstrate its application in a UK prison. Air sampling was conducted using a fixed sequential sampler, alongside personal air sampling units worn by prison officers within an English prison. Air samples were collected onto thermal desorption (TD) tubes and analysed via comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC×GC-TOF MS). This study is the first of its kind in a prison setting and the approach is of importance to analytical scientists, policy makers and public health employees tasked with the health and safety of prison staff. GC×GC-TOF MS analysis was able to separate and identify a range of compounds present in the prison air samples. Analysis of the TD tubes did not reveal any synthetic cannabinoids from the fixed pump air samples or the personal pump samples worn by prison officers. Air monitoring in prisons presents a challenge of logistics as well as science. Fixed sequential air sampling combined with personal air monitoring devices allowed air from multiple locations within a prison to be collected, providing a comprehensive approach to evaluating the air that prison staff are exposed to during a fixed time period.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:1942-7603
Additional Information:Funding statement: This work was funded by The Professional Trades Union for Prison, Correctional & Secure Psychiatric Workers (Grant ID 11700).
Uncontrolled Keywords:Synthetic cannabinoids; Thermal desorption; NPS; air sampling; prison; GC×GC-TOF-MS
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:35518
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:18 May 2021 13:53
Last Modified:15 Aug 2021 08:29

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