Carpets for office use are nowadays in most cases applied with water-based adhesives. During the last decade the complaints about odors and emission of volatile organic compounds from these fitted carpets have increased dramatically, causing a major problem for indoor air quality. In a series of investigations it has been established that in many cases the adhesives used were the primary cause of complaints. This is initially surprising, since usually solvent-free water-based dispersion adhesives were used.

This paper describes the analytical approach of analyzing a broad variety of volatile compounds within a wide boiling point range with thermal desorption GC/MS.