Standard Guide for Using Metal Ratios in Soils to Distinguish Between Anthropogenic and Natural Beryllium
5.1 Chronic Beryllium Disease (CBD) and Beryllium Sensitization (Be-S) caused by exposure to anthropogenic Beryllium (A-Be) are a continuing health concern in the nuclear and defense industries. The traditional worker protection strategy has been to compare total Be (T-Be) measurements taken in workplaces with appropriate limits or local background Be measurements. That strategy can be ineffective, however, where naturally occurring Be (N-Be) from local soils can be a non-negligible component of the measured T-Be. N-Be is not known to have adverse health effects. This MRM uses the ratio(s) of measurements of Be with measurements of one or more metals found in background materials, but not likely to be in facilities, to predict the amount of N-Be expected in individual samples based on the measurement(s) of the predictor metal(s) in those samples. The measured T-Be can be compared with the predictions to estimate the amount of A-Be present, if any.
5.2 In order to use the MRM it is required to identify local sources of N-Be that can be credibly transported into facilities, along with a means of sampling those sources. It would be helpful also to have insight into the metal content of the soils at those sources, to facilitate the identification of candidate predictor metals. Regarding the latter, there are published databases describing the chemistry of surface soils in many regions; however, information found in those databases should be regarded as suggestive, due to the modified sample preparation and analysis methods currently expected to be used because of the need to digest high-fired BeO, one form of A-Be of concern.
1.1 This guide describes a general approach to planning investigations in which the goal is to obtain background measurements of naturally occurring Beryllium (N-Be) along with one or more predictor metals in local soils, to be used in predicting the amount of N-Be expected in samples taken for evaluation using the Metal Ratio Method (MRM). Generally, systematic random sampling is recommended, after which the results are interpreted using statistical methods described in this guide.
1.2 The total Be (T-Be) measured in evaluation samples can then be compared with the predicted N-Be to estimate the amount of anthropogenic Be (A-Be) present, if any. Several scenarios are discussed in which samples taken and analyzed for T-Be for worker or public protection purposes might include both N-Be and A-Be (see 6.1). This method can allow the N-Be and A-Be components of T-Be measurements to be estimated.
1.3 Values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.
1.4 This guide offers an organized collection of information or a series of options and does not recommend a specific course of action. This document cannot replace education or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. Not all aspects of this guide may be applicable in all circumstances. This ASTM standard guide is not intended to represent or replace the standard of care by which the adequacy of a given professional service must be judged, nor should this document be applied without consideration of a project’s many unique aspects. The word “Standard” in the title of this document means only that the document has been approved through the ASTM consensus process.
1.5 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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
1.6 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.
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