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ASTM D4861-23

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

Standard Practice for Sampling and Selection of Analytical Techniques for Pesticides and Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Air D4861-23 ASTM|D4861-23|en-US Standard Practice for Sampling and Selection of Analytical Techniques for Pesticides and Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Air Standard new BOS Vol. 11.07 Committee D22
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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.


1.1 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.

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 μg/m3 to 50 μg/m3 concentrations, and 4 h 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.

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Book of Standards Volume: 11.07
Developed by Subcommittee: D22.05
Pages: 16
DOI: 10.1520/D4861-23
ICS Code: 13.040.20; 65.100.01