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ASTM D4547-20

Standard Guide for Sampling Waste and Soils for Volatile Organic Compounds

Standard Guide for Sampling Waste and Soils for Volatile Organic Compounds D4547-20 ASTM|D4547-20|en-US Standard Guide for Sampling Waste and Soils for Volatile Organic Compounds Standard new BOS Vol. 11.04 Committee D34
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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.


1.1 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.

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Book of Standards Volume: 11.04
Developed by Subcommittee: D34.01.02
Pages: 16
DOI: 10.1520/D4547-20
ICS Code: 13.080.05