Abstract A sensitive and accurate methods for extraction and quantitation of volatile halocarbons, i.e., 1,1- and 1,2-dichloroethylene (DCE), from body tissues has been developed. The organic volatiles were thermally desorbed from tissues contained within a Tekmar purge device, which was immersed in a stirred water bath at 60°C. In order to avoid foaming, the stream of purging gas (helium) was applied 2 mm above, rather than below the sample surface in the purging device. The purged 1,1- and 1,2- DCE were retained on Tenax-GC (80–100 mesh), then desorbed by heating andvented into a Tractor 560 gas chromatograph. The detection limit of the Hall electrolytic conductivity detector operated in the halogen mode was 50 pg. Recoveries of 1,1- and 1,2-DCE from various animal tissues spiked in vitro were greater than 50%. This purge-and-trap technique appears well suited for studies of the uptake and disposition of volatile organics in body tissues.