Volume 3, Issue 1 (January 2006)
Opportunities for Standardization of Beryllium Sampling and Analysis
Since the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) published the DOE Beryllium Rule (10 CFR 850) in 1999, DOE sites have been required to measure beryllium in air filter and surface wipe samples for purposes of worker protection and for release of materials from beryllium-controlled areas. Measurements in the nanogram range on a filter or wipe are typically required. Industrial hygiene laboratories have applied methods from various analytical compendia, and a number of issues have emerged concerning sampling and analysis practices. As a result, a committee of analytical chemists, industrial hygienists, and laboratory managers was formed in November 2003 to address the issues. The committee developed a baseline questionnaire and distributed it to DOE sites and other agencies in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. The results of the questionnaire are presented in this paper. These results confirmed that a wide variety of practices was in use in the areas of sampling, sample preparation, and analysis. Additionally, although these laboratories are generally accredited by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), there are inconsistencies in execution among accredited laboratories. As a result, there are significant opportunities for development of standard methods that could improve consistency. The current availabilities and needs for standard methods are further discussed in a companion paper.