Oddy tests: Adding the analytical dimension

Gail Gali Beiner, Miriam Lavi, Hadas Seri, Anna Rossin, Ovadia Lev, Jenny Gun, Rivka Rabinovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The so-called “Oddy test” has gained popularity in art and archaeology collections because it is inexpensive to use, and the results are relatively easy to analyze. However, the method is also subjective and does not identify the pollutants. Here we present a modification to the traditional test that addresses these drawbacks and aims at providing solutions. Activated carbon was used to adsorb the volatile emissions generated within the standard Oddy test setup. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) desorbed from the activated carbon detected pollutants within a considerably shorter time frame than the traditional Oddy test and provided both qualitative and quantitative data. GC-MS analysis of volatiles off-gassed during the Oddy test provided information about the VOCs from local brands of materials commonly used for conservation and storage of objects in collections. The use of GC-MS analysis of volatiles improves the Oddy test in a fast, sensitive, and quantitative manner.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)22-36
Number of pages15
JournalCollection Forum
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2015


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