ASTM D6246 - 08(2013)

    Standard Practice for Evaluating the Performance of Diffusive Samplers

    Active Standard ASTM D6246 | Developed by Subcommittee: D22.04

    Book of Standards Volume: 11.07


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 Gas or vapor sampling is often accomplished by actively pumping air through a collection medium such as activated charcoal. Problems associated with a pump–inconvenience, inaccuracy, and expense–are inextricable from this type of sampling. The alternative covered by this practice is to use diffusion for moving the compound of interest onto the collection medium. This approach to sampling is attractive because of the convenience of use and low total monitoring cost.

    5.2 However, previous studies have found significant problems with the accuracy of some samplers. Therefore, although diffusive samplers may provide a plethora of data, inaccuracies and misuse of diffusive samplers may yet affect research studies. Furthermore, worker protections may be based on faulty assumptions. The aim of this practice is to counter the uncertainties in diffusive sampling through achieving a broadly accepted set of performance tests and acceptance criteria for proving the efficacy of any given diffusive sampler intended for use.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice covers the evaluation of the performance of diffusive samplers of gases and vapors for use over sampling periods from 4 to 12 h and for wind speeds less than 0.5 m/s. Such sampling periods and wind speeds are the most common in the indoor workplace setting. This practice does not apply to static or area sampling in wind speeds less than 0.1 m/s, when diffusion outside the sampler may dominate needed convection from the ambient air to the vicinity of the sampler. Given a suitable exposure chamber, the practice can be extended to cover sampler use for other sampling periods and conditions. The aim is to provide a concise set of experiments for classifying samplers primarily in accordance with a single sampler accuracy figure. Accuracy is defined (3.2.1) in this standard so as to take into account both imprecision and uncorrected bias. Accuracy estimates refer to conditions of sampler use which are normally expected in a workplace setting. These conditions may be characterized by the temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, and ambient wind speed, none of which may be constant or accurately known when the sampler is used in the field. Futhermore, the accuracy accounts for the effects of diffusive loss of analyte on the estimation of time-weighted averages of concentrations which may not be constant in time. Aside from accuracy, the samplers are tested for compliance with the manufacturer's stated limits on capacity, possibly in the presence of interfering compounds.

    1.2 This practice is an extension of previous research on diffusive samplers (1-14)2 as well as Practices D4597, D4598, D4599, and MDHS 27. An essential advance here is the estimation of sampler accuracy under actual conditions of use. Futhermore, the costs of sampler evaluation are reduced.

    1.3 Knowledge gained from similar analytes expedites sampler evaluation. For example, interpolation of data characterizing the sampling of analytes at separated points of a homologous series of compounds is recommended. At present the procedure of (9) is suggested. Following evaluation of a sampler in use at a single homologous series member according to the present practice, higher molecular weight members would receive partial validations considering sampling rate, capacity, analytical recovery, and interferences. The test for diffusive analyte loss can be omitted if the effect is found negligible for a given sampler or analyte series.

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

    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 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.

    International Standards

    CENEN838 European Standard, Workplace atmospheres - Diffusive samplers for the determination of gases or vapours - Requirements and test methods Available from CEN Central Secretariat, rue de Stassart 36, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium.

    MDHS27 Protocol for assessing the performance of a diffusive sampler, Health and Safety Laboratory, United Kingdom Available from HMSO Books, PO Box 276, London, England, SW8 5DT.

    MDHS80 Volatile organic compounds in air, Health and Safety Laboratory, United Kingdom

    ASTM Standards

    D1356 Terminology Relating to Sampling and Analysis of Atmospheres

    D4597 Practice for Sampling Workplace Atmospheres to Collect Gases or Vapors with Solid Sorbent Diffusive Samplers

    D4598 Practice for Sampling Workplace Atmospheres to Collect Gases or Vapors with Liquid Sorbent Diffusional Samplers

    D4599 Practice for Measuring the Concentration of Toxic Gases or Vapors Using Length-of-Stain Dosimeters


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.040.30 (Workplace atmospheres)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 77121501(Air quality management)


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/D6246-08R13

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM D6246-08(2013), Standard Practice for Evaluating the Performance of Diffusive Samplers, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2013, www.astm.org

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