Volume 35, Issue 6 (November 1990)
Delayed Ethanol Analysis of Breath Specimens: Long-Term Field Experience with Commercial Silica Gel Tubes and Breathalyzer Collection
Delayed ethanol analysis was performed on breath specimens collected with commercial silica gel tubes using multiple Breathalyzer® instruments. Eleven hundred and nine results were obtained from an ethanol testing program over a five-year period. Only 2.5% of the specimens had apparent collection errors. For the valid specimens, the most frequent result was 0.11 g/210 L and the mean result was 0.14 g/210 L. For 642 specimens, delayed results were compared with direct results. Direct results were greater than delayed results for 55%, less than for 27%, and equal to for 18% of the pairs. When fixed tolerance limits of ±0.03 were used, 81% of the direct results were confirmed. The confirmation percentage was best in the critical range of direct results, 0.05 to 0.15 g/210 L. The collection tubes showed no substantial variability in retaining ethanol during storage and releasing ethanol for analysis.