Skip to main content

Lund University Publications

LUND UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES

The advantages of standardizing exhaled breath-alcohol concentration to a reference respiratory gas—water vapor

Lindberg, Lars LU and Jones, Alan Wayne (2023) In Journal of Breath Research 17(1).
Abstract

Measuring the concentration of alcohol (ethanol) in exhaled breath (BrAC) provides a rapid and non-invasive way to determine the co-existing concentration in arterial blood (A-BAC). The results of breath-alcohol testing are used worldwide as evidence of excessive drinking, such as when traffic offenders are prosecuted. Two types of breath-alcohol analyzer are in common use; hand-held instruments used as preliminary screening tests of sobriety and more sophisticated evidential instruments, the results of which are accepted as evidence for prosecution of drunken drivers. Most evidential breath-alcohol analyzers are designed to capture the last portion of a prolonged exhalation, which is thought to reflect the alcohol concentration in... (More)

Measuring the concentration of alcohol (ethanol) in exhaled breath (BrAC) provides a rapid and non-invasive way to determine the co-existing concentration in arterial blood (A-BAC). The results of breath-alcohol testing are used worldwide as evidence of excessive drinking, such as when traffic offenders are prosecuted. Two types of breath-alcohol analyzer are in common use; hand-held instruments used as preliminary screening tests of sobriety and more sophisticated evidential instruments, the results of which are accepted as evidence for prosecution of drunken drivers. Most evidential breath-alcohol analyzers are designed to capture the last portion of a prolonged exhalation, which is thought to reflect the alcohol concentration in substantially alveolar air. The basic premise of breath-alcohol analysis is that there is a physiological relationship between A-BAC and BrAC and close agreement between the two analytical methods. This article reviews the principles and practice of breath-alcohol analysis and introduces the concept of standardizing the results to a secondary physiological gas (water vapor), which therefore serves as an internal standard. The measured BrAC is thus adjusted to an alveolar air water content of 43.95 mg l−1 at 37 °C. This has several advantages, and means that a sample of breath can be captured without the person having to blow directly into the instrument. Adjusting the breath-alcohol concentration to water vapor concentration also compensates for variations in temperature of the expired air. The contact-free method of sampling breath means that a mouthpiece is unnecessary and the test subject does not need to make a continuous end exhalation.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
alcohol, breath-alcohol, ethanol, infrared technology, respiratory gases, standardization, water-vapor
in
Journal of Breath Research
volume
17
issue
1
article number
014002
publisher
IOP Publishing
external identifiers
  • scopus:85142918825
  • pmid:36368034
ISSN
1752-7155
DOI
10.1088/1752-7163/aca21b
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3bc1dc5a-c977-4d0e-b6a7-2e2997e27d9a
date added to LUP
2023-02-07 15:36:15
date last changed
2024-04-04 16:25:03
@article{3bc1dc5a-c977-4d0e-b6a7-2e2997e27d9a,
  abstract     = {{<p>Measuring the concentration of alcohol (ethanol) in exhaled breath (BrAC) provides a rapid and non-invasive way to determine the co-existing concentration in arterial blood (A-BAC). The results of breath-alcohol testing are used worldwide as evidence of excessive drinking, such as when traffic offenders are prosecuted. Two types of breath-alcohol analyzer are in common use; hand-held instruments used as preliminary screening tests of sobriety and more sophisticated evidential instruments, the results of which are accepted as evidence for prosecution of drunken drivers. Most evidential breath-alcohol analyzers are designed to capture the last portion of a prolonged exhalation, which is thought to reflect the alcohol concentration in substantially alveolar air. The basic premise of breath-alcohol analysis is that there is a physiological relationship between A-BAC and BrAC and close agreement between the two analytical methods. This article reviews the principles and practice of breath-alcohol analysis and introduces the concept of standardizing the results to a secondary physiological gas (water vapor), which therefore serves as an internal standard. The measured BrAC is thus adjusted to an alveolar air water content of 43.95 mg l<sup>−1</sup> at 37 °C. This has several advantages, and means that a sample of breath can be captured without the person having to blow directly into the instrument. Adjusting the breath-alcohol concentration to water vapor concentration also compensates for variations in temperature of the expired air. The contact-free method of sampling breath means that a mouthpiece is unnecessary and the test subject does not need to make a continuous end exhalation.</p>}},
  author       = {{Lindberg, Lars and Jones, Alan Wayne}},
  issn         = {{1752-7155}},
  keywords     = {{alcohol; breath-alcohol; ethanol; infrared technology; respiratory gases; standardization; water-vapor}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{1}},
  publisher    = {{IOP Publishing}},
  series       = {{Journal of Breath Research}},
  title        = {{The advantages of standardizing exhaled breath-alcohol concentration to a reference respiratory gas—water vapor}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1752-7163/aca21b}},
  doi          = {{10.1088/1752-7163/aca21b}},
  volume       = {{17}},
  year         = {{2023}},
}