Gas chromatography with mass spectrometry for the separation of organic mixtures

PAH analysis

Verification and analysis for industrial and environmental samples

Solutions for PAH analytics

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)  form a large group of organic compounds that occur naturally as well as due to human activity. As a consequence of their potentially carcinogenic and polluting characteristics, the monitoring and analysis of PAHs in various matrices such as environmental samples, foodstuffs and plastics is of crucial importance.

The analysis of PAHs is therefore strongly recommended for the verification of the safety, environmental sustainability and conformity of products and environmental samples. PAH analytics can be used to identify and minimise risks by ensuring that concentrations of these compounds are below the statutory limits.

+49 7022 2796-681

PAH analysis using gas chromatography

PAH analytics – maximum precision for the highest requirements

Whether the protection of the environment, foodstuff analytics, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry or the construction materials industry – for each of these sectors we can check for compliance with the statutory requirements and assist our customers in ensuring the safety and environmental sustainability of their products. Due to our comprehensive expertise and the latest analytical methods, our test procedures contribute to quality control and the improvement of production processes.

Fast and reliable
measurement results

  • Precise determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in accordance with AfPS GS 2019:01 PAH
  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis of solid, liquid and gaseous sample matrices
  • Highly precise detection of very low levels of contamination down to the limit of detection of 0.2 mg/kg in accordance with AfPS GS 2019:01 PAH
  • Qualitative identification of specific PAH compounds
  • Quantitative determination of the overall levels and the concentration of each PAH compound identified
Gas chromatography with mass spectrometry for the separation of organic mixtures

At a glance: test methods for PAH analytics

In our accredited test laboratory, we rely on advanced technology and highly precise methods to identify and quantify reliably the presence and concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Here we utilise gas chromatography (GC)  in combination with  mass spectrometry (GC-MS). These methods enable us to measure precisely even very low concentrations of PAHs. As such, we offer the reliability and accuracy necessary for compliance with strict environmental and safety standards.

Challenges of PAH analytics

The challenges of PAH analytics are varied and complex due to the chemical diversity of PAHs and the different matrices in which they are analysed. Our expertise in the precise identification and quantification of individual PAH compounds, as well as our optimised laboratory processes, which effectively minimise the interference typical in varying sample materials such as soil, water or biological tissue, ensure the best results nevertheless.

Highly precise PAH analytics using GC-MS

This method is ideally suited to the analysis of volatile and semi-volatile PAHs as per the requirements of the AfPS standard. GC-MS features high sensitivity and precision that makes it possible to separate complex mixtures into their individual constituents effectively. After chromatographic separation, the PAH compounds are identified and quantified using a mass spectrometer. This technique ensures highly precise, dependable analysis results that comply with the strict scientific and regulatory requirements for PAH analytics

Applications for chemical analytics

Highly precise measurement and
analytical methods
by application

Added value at Quality Analysis


You receive from us precise analyses, even at short notice. We have both the necessary personnel and also the appropriate systems for the analysis of PAHs.


We deliver highly precise analyses of PAH concentrarion in your samples. Here we rely on the highest technical expertise and scientific and legal standards.


Our technical equipment is designed for the precise analysis of your samples. During sample preparation and PAH analysis, we rely on the latest systems from the market leaders Agilent and Büchi.


The accreditation of our test methods and laboratories signifies certainty, dependability, and objectivity for you.

PAH analysis: Concentration of the sample in the vaporiser

Your test laboratory for PAH analytics

Quality Analysis has specialised in PAH analytics and offers comprehensive services for the identification and quantification of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Our analytical methods are always state-of-the-art and are based on scientific and statutory standards formulated by, e.g. the Product Safety Commission (AfPS). With the latest technology and a team of experienced specialists, we ensure that your samples are analysed precisely.

Our experts combine sound expertise with modern technology for PAH analytics to deliver exact, dependable results. We make sure you can rely on our analyses to verify that your products meet safety and environmental standards.

+49 7022 2796-681

DAkkS accreditation according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025

Accredited test laboratory
for chemical analytics

Quality Analysis, as an independent and accredited test laboratory, assists you during the verification of the presence or absence of PAHs in your samples and during the manufacture of certified, PAH-free components. Our laboratory is accredited as per DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025 by Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH (DAkkS). We are one of the few European test laboratories to have achieved successful accreditation for all specialist areas.

You can read more about the advantages our accreditation offers you here:

Read more

Applications for PAH analytics

PAH analytics has come to the fore in many sectors. Using GC-MS, PAH compounds in plastics, environmental media and many other samples can be identified and quantified. The PAH level is therefore an important indicator for identifying high concentrations at an early stage and guaranteeing high product safety.

Analyzes of compliance with safety standards in the plastics industry
© MaciejBledowski –

Plastics industry

In the plastics industry, PAH analytics plays a crucial role in safeguarding product quality and safety. Because plastics are used in numerous applications, it is important they are free of harmful PAHs, in particular if they are used in contact with foodstuffs or in sensitive environments. Analytics helps to check for compliance with statutory requirements and to minimise the risk of harmful effects.


Analysis areas - Automotive sector
© Vaceslav Romanov -

Automotive industry

The automotive industry uses PAH analytics to monitor emissions and to check materials used in vehicles. PAHs can be found in engine oils, exhaust gases and even in the plastics used. By means of regular tests, it is ensured that vehicles meet environmental standards and do not harm the health of users.


Water analytics

PAHs can enter watercourses by means of industrial waste water or due to accidents. Monitoring them in water resources is therefore essential to safeguard the quality of the water and to protect ecosystems.

Testing food for harmful substances and residues
© rufar -

Foodstuff analytics

In foodstuff analytics, PAH analytics is used to guarantee the safety of food. PAHs can occur while smoking or barbecuing foodstuffs; cocoa and chocolate can also contain PAHs. Analytics makes it possible to measure the concentrations of these compounds in foodstuffs and to ensure that the concentrations remain below the stipulated limits to protect the health of consumers.

Frequently asked questions about PAH Analytics

What is PAH analytics?

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are a group of chemical compounds formed during incomplete combustion processes. The combustion processes can be due to natural causes, such as forest fires, or due to human activities, for instance power stations, industrial plants or road traffic. PAHs are found in many everyday environments: from smoked foodstuffs to exhaust gases and tar. Due to their potentially harmful effects – many PAHs are categorised as carcinogenic – the monitoring of their presence in the environment and products is essential.

What can be analysed using PAH analytics?

PAH analytics is relevant in a large number of application areas. Environmental samples such as soil, water and air are regularly tested for PAHs to monitor and manage pollution. In industry, raw materials and end-products, including plastics and chemicals, are analysed to ensure compliance with safety standards. Cosmetic products are also analysed to protect consumers against exposure to harmful amounts of PAHs.

What does the PAH level mean?

The PAH level provides information about the total concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in a specific sample. This figure is very important because it provides information about not only the presence of PAHs, but also their potential impact on the environment, human and animal health. An elevated PAH level signifies an increased concentration of PAHs, which can signify a greater threat for the environment and the organisms in this area. For this reason, the PAH level is an important quality indicator for the environment and an indicator for the potential risks that can emanate from PAHs.

Why is PAH analytics so important

The need for the strict monitoring and regulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is due to their high persistence, bioaccumulation and toxicity. PAHs are therefore the subject of extensive regulations related to the protection of the environment with the aim of limiting their release and therefore minimising their negative effects on the environment and human health. The analysis of PAHs in foodstuffs, air, soil and water plays a central role here, because many of these compounds are known to be carcinogenic and mutagenetic, they can also have further harmful effects.


the right partner

for PAH analytics

What can we analyse for you?
We would be pleased to advise you about the numerous possibilities and combined analytical methods. The goal: the best, most cost-effective and most efficient analysis of your component.


Call us, we look forward to hearing from you!