Standard Active Last Updated: Jul 26, 2021
ASTM D4766-21

Standard Test Method for Vinyl Chloride in Workplace Atmospheres (Charcoal Tube Method)

Significance and Use

5.1 Vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) is the starting material for the manufacture of poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC), which is used extensively in construction, electronics, packaging, and other industries. The vinyl chloride gas can escape during manufacturing, transportation, and polymerization stages. Residual monomer can also escape during subsequent fabrication processes.

5.2 Vinyl chloride is a toxic and explosive hazardous material.

5.3 Vinyl chloride is suspected to be a carcinogenic agent (4), and occupational exposure limits (OELs) have been established for this agent. For instance, the present U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) permissible exposure limit (PEL) for VCM is 1.0 ppm (v) with a 0.5-ppm (v) action level; the maximum length of operator exposure at 5 ppm (v) is 15 min (5).

5.4 This test method is made selective for vinyl chloride by choosing chromatographic columns that will separate vinyl chloride from other organic compounds in the sample.

5.5 This test method meets requirements (for example, those of OSHA and NIOSH) for monitoring workplace atmospheres in vinyl chloride and poly(vinyl chloride) production and fabrication processes.


1.1 This test method describes the determination of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) in workplace atmospheres using a modified charcoal tube method (see Practice D3686).

1.2 This procedure is compatible with low-flow rate personal sampling equipment. It can be used for personal or stationary monitoring. It cannot be used to determine instantaneous fluctuations in concentration to detect maximum values. Alternative on-site procedures, such as gas chromatography or infrared spectrometry, are required to measure fast-changing concentrations.

1.3 The range of this test method is from the limit of quantitation approximately 0.03 to 100 ppm (v).

1.4 The sampling method provides a time-weighted average sample.

1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses after SI units are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

1.6 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 more specific precautionary statements, see Section 9, 10.2.3, and 11.1.3.

1.7 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: 11.07
Developed by Subcommittee: D22.04
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.1520/D4766-21
ICS Code: 13.040.30