Standard Article

Parent and Progeny Compounds in Exhaled Breath, Determination of

Industrial Hygiene

  1. Professor Shane S. Que Hee

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a1313

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Que Hee, S. S. 2006. Parent and Progeny Compounds in Exhaled Breath, Determination of. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Breath analysis is the sampling and analysis of an analyte in the exhaled breath of living animals, and the subsequent interpretation of the results.1 Breath sampling is noninvasive of the body as is urine sampling, unlike blood sampling. All three modes of biological monitoring can be very useful and often are necessary. Breath sampling is especially useful for chemically inert volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The related branches of scientific endeavor include:

  • Pulmonary function testing is the measurement of pulmonary parameters to diagnose pulmonary disorders.2

  • Pulmonary toxicology is the study of adverse effects of inspired toxicants on the respiratory system.

  • Inhalation toxicology is the study of adverse effects of inspired toxicants on body target organs and tissues. Pulmonary toxicology is thus a subset of inhalation toxicology. The health consequences of “sniffing” chemicals and “poppers” are included. Many scientists use inhalation toxicology as a term to describe animal experimentation.

  • Anesthesiology is the intentional exposure of anesthetics in nonadverse doses to humans to aid medical operations where pain would be excessive.

  • Taste and odor science is the investigation of taste and odor in inspired breath and oral ingestion from natural sources (decaying vegetation, decomposing bodies, and environmental odors) and synthetic sources (food, drink, drugs, cosmetics, perfumes, toiletries, wine tasting and bouquet, beer taste and odor, sewer headspaces and emissions, pesticide applications, garbage and waste sites, natural and potable waters), and environmental and indoor air quality situations. Often taste and odor panels are a part of the evaluation of such phenomena. When used for risk assessment purposes, taste, odor, and other aesthetic considerations are called organoleptic criteria.

This article will focus on human exhaled breath analysis, except where specified otherwise.