Standard Guide for Sampling Waste and Soils for Volatile Organic Compounds
This guide describes sample collection and handling procedures designed to minimize losses of VOCs. The principal mechanisms for the loss of VOCs from materials during collection, handling and storage are volatilization and biodegradation. Susceptibility of various VOCs to these two loss mechanisms is both compound and matrix specific. In general, compounds with higher vapor pressures are more susceptible to volatilization than compounds with lower vapor pressures. Also, aerobically degradable compounds are generally more susceptible to biodegradation than anaerobically degradable compounds. In some cases, the formation of other compounds not originally present in the material can occur. Loss or gain of VOCs leads to analytical results that are unrepresentative of field conditions.
Ancillary information concerning sample collection, handling and storage for VOC analysis is provided in Appendix X1 and Appendix X2. These appendixes and cited references are recommended reading for those unfamiliar with the many challenges presented during the collection, handling and storage of samples for VOC analysis.
1.1 This guide describes recommended procedures for the collection, handling, and preparation of solid waste, soil, and sediment samples for subsequent determination of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This class of compounds includes low molecular weight aromatics, hydrocarbons, halogenated hydrocarbons, ketones, acetates, nitriles, acrylates, ethers, and sulfides with boiling points below 200 Celsius (C) that are insoluble or slightly soluble in water.
1.2 Methods of sample collection, handling, storage, and preparation for analysis are described.
1.3 This guide does not cover the details of sampling design, laboratory preparation of containers, and the analysis of the samples.
1.4 It is recommended that this guide be used in conjunction with Guide D 4687.
This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. See and for specific warnings.
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