ASTM D4861 - 17

    Standard Practice for Sampling and Selection of Analytical Techniques for Pesticides and Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Air

    Active Standard ASTM D4861 | Developed by Subcommittee: D22.05

    Book of Standards Volume: 11.07

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    Significance and Use

    5.1 This practice is recommended for use primarily for non-occupational exposure monitoring in domiciles, public access buildings, and offices.

    5.2 The methods described in this practice have been successfully applied to measurement of pesticides and PCBs in outdoor air and for personal respiratory exposure monitoring.

    5.3 A broad spectrum of pesticides are commonly used in and around the house and for insect control in public and commercial buildings. Other semivolatile organic chemicals, such as PCBs, are also often present in indoor air, particularly in large office buildings. This practice promotes needed precision and bias in the determination of many of these airborne chemicals.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice covers the sampling of air for a variety of common pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and provides guidance on the selection of appropriate analytical measurement methods. Other compounds such as polychlorinated dibenzodioxins/furans, polybrominated biphenyls, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and polychlorinated naphthalenes may be efficiently collected from air by this practice, but guidance on their analytical determination is not covered by this practice.

    1.2 The sampling and analysis of PCBs in air can be more complicated than sampling PCBs in solid media (for example, soils, building materials) or liquids (for example, transformer fluids). PCBs in solid or liquid material are typically analyzed using Aroclor2 distillation groups in chromatograms. In contrast, recent research has shown that analysis of PCBs in air samples by GC/ECD has also been found to exhibit potential uncertainties due to changes in the PCB patterns, differences in responses in distillation groups, peak co-elutions and differences in response factors within a homolog group (1, 2).3 As such it is recommended that PCBs in air not be quantified using AroclorTM distillation groups. In addition, it is recommended that analysis of PCBs in air be done using GC/MS rather than GC/ECD. Any mention, to outdated practices for “Aroclor” and GC/ECD analysis of PCBs herein are retained solely for historical perspective.

    1.3 A complete listing of pesticides and other semivolatile organic chemicals for which this practice has been tested is shown in Table 1.

    (A) GC = gas chromatography; ECD = electron capture detector; FPD = flame photometric detector; HPLC = high-performance liquid chromatography; NPD = nitrogen-phosphorus detector; UV = ultraviolet absorption detector. (GC/MS (gas chromatography/mass spectrometry) is always recommended, if available.)
    (B) Using PUF/2,6-diphenyl-p-phenylene oxide “sandwich” trap.
    (C) Compound is very unstable in solution.
    (D) Derivatization necessary for free acid and salts.

    1.4 This practice is based on the collection of chemicals from air onto polyurethane foam (PUF) or a combination of PUF and granular sorbent (for example, diphenyl oxide, styrene-divinylbenzene), or a granular sorbent alone.

    1.5 This practice is applicable to multicomponent atmospheres, 0.001 to 50-μg/m3 concentrations, and 4 to 24-h sampling periods. The limit of detection will depend on the nature of the analyte and the length of the sampling period.

    1.6 The analytical method(s) recommended will depend on the specific chemical(s) sought, the concentration level, and the degree of specificity required.

    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 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. For specific hazards statements, see 10.24 and A1.1.

    1.9 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.

    NIOSH Methods

    NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods Also available

    ASTM Standards

    D1193 Specification for Reagent Water

    D1356 Terminology Relating to Sampling and Analysis of Atmospheres

    D3686 Practice for Sampling Atmospheres to Collect Organic Compound Vapors (Activated Charcoal Tube Adsorption Method)

    D3687 Practice for Analysis of Organic Compound Vapors Collected by the Activated Charcoal Tube Adsorption Method

    D4185 Test Method for Measurement of Metals in Workplace Atmospheres by Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry

    E355 Practice for Gas Chromatography Terms and Relationships

    EPA Methods and Standards

    40 CFR 136 EPA Organic Chemical Analysis of Municipal and Industrial Wastewater Also available at

    EPA 600/R-96/010b Compendium of Methods for the Determination to Toxic Organic Compounds in Ambient Air Also available at

    EPA 821/C-99-004 Methods and Guidance for Analysis of Water, Versions 2 NTIS PB99-500209 (see

    EPA SW-846 Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste Physical Chemical Methods

    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.040.30 (Workplace atmospheres)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 77121608(Pesticides pollution assessment)

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

    DOI: 10.1520/D4861-17

    Citation Format

    ASTM D4861-17, Standard Practice for Sampling and Selection of Analytical Techniques for Pesticides and Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Air, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2017,

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