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    ASTM D4547 - 20

    Standard Guide for Sampling Waste and Soils for Volatile Organic Compounds

    Active Standard ASTM D4547 | Developed by Subcommittee: D34.01.02

    Book of Standards Volume: 11.04


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 This guide describes sample collection and handling procedures designed to minimize losses of VOCs. The principal mechanisms for the loss of VOCs from materials during collection, handling, and storage are volatilization and biodegradation. Susceptibility of various VOCs to these two loss mechanisms is both compound and matrix specific. In general, compounds with higher vapor pressures are more susceptible to volatilization than compounds with lower vapor pressures. Also, aerobically degradable compounds are generally more susceptible to biodegradation than anaerobically degradable compounds. In some cases, the formation of other compounds not originally present in the material can occur. Loss or gain of VOCs leads to analytical results that are unrepresentative of field conditions.

    5.2 Ancillary information concerning sample collection, handling, and storage for VOC analysis is provided in Appendix X1 – Appendix X3. These appendixes and cited references are recommended reading for those unfamiliar with the many challenges presented during the collection, handling, and storage of samples for VOC analysis.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide describes recommended procedures for the collection, handling, and preparation of solid waste, soil, and sediment samples for subsequent determination of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This class of compounds includes low molecular weight aromatics, hydrocarbons, halogenated hydrocarbons, ketones, acetates, nitriles, acrylates, ethers, and sulfides with boiling points below 200° Celsius (C) that are insoluble or slightly soluble in water.

    1.2 Methods of sample collection, handling, storage, and preparation for analysis are described.

    1.3 This guide does not cover the details of sampling design, laboratory preparation of containers, and the analysis of the samples.

    1.4 It is recommended that this guide be used in conjunction with Guide D4687.

    1.5 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 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.

    1.6 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard. Reporting of test results in units other than SI shall not be regarded as nonconformance with this standard.

    1.7 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.

    1.8 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.


    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

    D1193 Specification for Reagent Water

    D1586/D1586M Test Method for Standard Penetration Test (SPT) and Split-Barrel Sampling of Soils

    D4687 Guide for General Planning of Waste Sampling

    D4700 Guide for Soil Sampling from the Vadose Zone

    D5058 Practices for Compatibility of Screening Analysis of Waste

    D5681 Terminology for Waste and Waste Management

    D5792 Practice for Generation of Environmental Data Related to Waste Management Activities: Development of Data Quality Objectives

    D6051 Guide for Composite Sampling and Field Subsampling for Environmental Waste Management Activities

    D6232 Guide for Selection of Sampling Equipment for Waste and Contaminated Media Data Collection Activities

    D6418 Practice for Using the Disposable En Core Sampler for Sampling and Storing Soil for Volatile Organic Analysis

    D6640 Practice for Collection and Handling of Soils Obtained in Core Barrel Samplers for Environmental Investigations

    D8170 Guide for Using Disposable Handheld Soil Core Samplers for the Collection and Storage of Soil for Volatile Organic Analysis


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.080.05 (Examination of soil in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/D4547-20

    Citation Format

    ASTM D4547-20, Standard Guide for Sampling Waste and Soils for Volatile Organic Compounds, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2020, www.astm.org

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