ASTM WK41681

    New Guide for Using a Reference Material to Characterize the Measurement Bias Associated with a Volatile Organic Compound Emission Chamber Test

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    Developed by Subcommittee: D22.05 | Committee D22 | Contact Staff Manager


    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide provides procedures for using a reference material with a known emission rate of a volatile organic compound (VOC) to estimate the bias associated with a VOC emission chamber test. 1.2 This guide may be used to assess measurements of VOC emissions conducted in a variety of environmental chambers, such as small-scale chambers, large-scale chambers, emission cells, and micro-scale chambers. 1.3 This guide may be used to assess measurements of VOC emissions from a variety of sources including dry materials (for example, carpet, floor tile, and particleboard) and wet materials (for example, paint and cleaning products). 1.4 This guide can be used to support quality control efforts by emissions testing laboratories, third-party accreditation of testing laboratories participating in emissions testing programs, and quality control efforts by manufacturers of building and other materials. 1.5 This guide may be used to support the determination of precision and bias of other commonly used VOC emission standards including Guide D5116, Test Method D6007, ISO 16000-9, ANSI/BIFMA M7.1, and CDPH/EHLB/Standard Method V1.1. 1.6 Airborne concentrations of chemicals emitted from materials being tested in emission chambers, as well as from reference materials, are measured by commonly used standards including Test Method D5197, Test Method D5466, Test Method D7339, and ISO 16000-6. 1.7 This guide also describes the attributes of a suitable emission reference material and the different methods available to independently determine the reference materials VOC emission rate. 1.8 Values stated in the International System of Units (SI) are to be regarded as the standard. 1.9 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.

    Chamber testing is a globally accepted method for measuring the emissions of VOCs from building materials and products. Chamber emission test data have a variety of uses including identification and labeling of products as low-VOC emitting for improved indoor air quality, manufacturing quality control, and development of new and improved products for reduced VOC emissions. Currently, an interlaboratory study (ILS) is the most frequently used method for assessing the bias of a laboratorys VOC emission test results. An ILS typically relies on a VOC source with an uncharacterized emission rate. Consequently, a large number of participants (Practice E691 recommends 30, with a minimum requirement of 6) are needed to produce the data required to calculate a laboratorys performance relative to the central tendency and distribution of the results for all participants. Because of the participant size requirement and other logistical issues, an ILS involves significant planning and coordination to achieve useful results. Interlaboratory studies have often shown significant variations in measured VOC emission rates among participating laboratories for a given source. Variability in the emission rate from the source often is suspected to be a contributing factor, but it is difficult to be certain of the cause. Thus, better characterized sources are needed for evaluating the ability of laboratories to generate VOC emission test results with acceptable bias. Proficiency tests (PT) for VOC emission testing typically focus on a laboratorys analytical capabilities. For example, an analytical PT relies on a certified standard prepared by an accredited vendor as a reference. A laboratory analyzes the PT sample without knowledge of its concentration value. Acceptance of the results is judged by the deviation from the known value. Use of reference materials can expand analytical PT schemes to also include the impacts of test sample handling, test specimen preparation, chamber operation, and chamber air sampling. Laboratories accredited under ISO/IEC 17025 are required to derive uncertainty estimates for their test results. Typically, this is done by developing an uncertainty budget and estimating an expanded uncertainty (ISO/IEC Guide 98, Practice D7440). An uncertainty budget for a VOC emission test combines relevant sources of measurement uncertainty for all steps in the testing process from test specimen preparation through air sample analysis. A more efficient approach to determining the overall bias and precision for a VOC emission test is with repeated testing of a reference material (see ISO/IEC Guide 98, ISO Guide 33). This guide addresses the estimation of bias through comparison of the measured value to the reference material value. The precision is determined through repeated testing of multiple reference materials, ideally from the same production batch (see Practices D6299 and E691). Other uses of an emissions reference material include verifying quality control emission measurements of manufactured product batches and providing traceability for third-party certification.


    building materials and products; environmental test chambers; emission rate; volatile organic compounds; reference materials; proficiency testing; indoor air quality

    The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.

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    Work Item Status

    Date Initiated:

    Technical Contact:
    Cynthia Reed


    D22 (14-02)

    Ballot Item Approved as D7911-2014 and Pending Publication