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    ASTM D5088 - 15a

    Standard Practice for Decontamination of Field Equipment Used at Waste Sites

    Active Standard ASTM D5088 | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.21

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.08


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 An appropriately developed, executed and documented equipment decontamination practice is an integral and essential part of waste site investigations. The benefits of its use include:

    5.1.1 Minimizing the spread of contaminants within a study area and from site to site,

    5.1.2 Reducing the potential for worker exposure by means of contact with contaminated sampling equipment or hazardous materials,

    5.1.3 Improved data quality and reliability.

    5.1.4 Minimizing the amount of decontamination fluids or wastes generated.

    5.1.5 Reducing personnel exposures to chemicals used in, or released by decontamination.

    5.1.6 Minimizing or eliminating the use of hazardous materials in the decontamination process, and

    5.1.7 Selecting equipment based on total life-cycle costs including labor, waste containment, disposal, treatment and additional analytical costs, such as using dedicated or disposable equipment rather than decontaminating between uses.

    5.2 This practice is not a substitute for a well-documented Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) program. Because the ultimate test of a decontamination process is its ability to minimize erroneous data, a reasonable QA/QC program must be implemented.

    5.3 This practice may not be applicable to all waste sites. When a sampling effort is completed to determine only the general range of chemical concentrations of interest, then less rigorous decontamination processes can be adequate. Less rigorous decontamination procedures may also be used when cleaning non-porous surfaces, such as metal surfaces as well. Investigators should have the flexibility to modify the decontamination process with due consideration for the sampling objective or if QA/QC documentation supports alternative decontamination methods.

    5.4 At sites where the reactivity of sampling equipment to decontamination washes creates concern for the generation of undesirable chemical by-products, or will potentially damage the equipment surfaces, for example, the use of an acid rinse on metal equipment, then use of dedicated sampling equipment should be considered.

    5.5 This practice, where applicable, should be used before, between, and after the completion of sampling events.

    5.6 This practice is appropriate for use at sites where chemical (organic and inorganic) contamination is known or expected. The application of this practice to other types of sites radiological, mixed (radiological and chemical), or biohazard contaminated sites is not applicable. The application of this practice to these types of sites should be undertaken with care and consideration, along with QA/QC documentation that supports the effectiveness of these decontamination techniques.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice covers the decontamination of field equipment used in the sampling of soils, soil gas, sludges, surface water, and groundwater at waste sites which are to undergo both physical and chemical analyses.

    1.2 This practice is applicable only at sites where chemical (organic and inorganic) wastes are a concern. It is not intended for use at radiological, mixed (chemical and radiological), or biohazard sites. This practice does not address regulatory requirements for the handling, labeling, shipping, or storing of wastes or samples.

    1.3 Practices are included for the decontamination of equipment which comes into contact with the sample matrix (sample contacting equipment) and for ancillary equipment that has not contacted the portion of sample to be analyzed (non-sample contacting equipment), but which must be cleaned to avoid spreading of contamination.

    1.4 This practice is intended for use when field equipment used for sampling will be decontaminated in the field or returned from the field. Information on the construction of field decontamination facilities and non-sample contacting equipment decontamination is also provided.

    1.5 This practice is based on commonly recognized methods by which equipment may be decontaminated. The practices described for sample contacting equipment are commonly prescribed. Background studies are included in the References at the end of this standard (12345). The user is reminded of the importance of proper decontamination planning to minimize the amount of decontamination wastes generated and to reduce or eliminate the use of cleaning agents that are themselves hazardous. Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) samples that document decontamination effectiveness can be used to modify or enhance decontamination techniques. Decontamination at radiologically contaminated sites should refer to Practice D5608.

    1.6 This practice is applicable to most conventional sampling equipment constructed of metallic and synthetic materials. The manufacturer of a specific sampling apparatus should be contacted or the manufacturer’s manuals reviewed if there is concern regarding the reactivity of a decontamination rinsing agent or the temperatures that could affect the equipment. Plastic components and gasket materials could be damaged by some of the stronger reagents or high temperatures.

    1.7 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.8 This practice 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 practice may be applicable in all circumstances. This ASTM standard 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.

    1.9 This standard does not purport to address the safety problems 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.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    D5608 Practices for Decontamination of Field Equipment Used at Low Level Radioactive Waste Sites


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.030.40 (Installations and equipment for waste disposal and treatment)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/D5088-15A

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM D5088-15a, Standard Practice for Decontamination of Field Equipment Used at Waste Sites, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2015, www.astm.org

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