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ASTM D7911-19

Standard Guide for Using Reference Material to Characterize Measurement Bias Associated with Volatile Organic Compound Emission Chamber Test

Standard Guide for Using Reference Material to Characterize Measurement Bias Associated with Volatile Organic Compound Emission Chamber Test D7911-19 ASTM|D7911-19|en-US Standard Guide for Using Reference Material to Characterize Measurement Bias Associated with Volatile Organic Compound Emission Chamber Test Standard new BOS Vol. 11.07 Committee D22
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Significance and Use

5.1 Chamber testing is a globally-accepted method for measuring the emissions of VOCs from building materials and products. Chamber emission test data have a variety of uses including identification and labeling of products as low-VOC emitting for improved indoor air quality, manufacturing quality control, and development of new and improved products for reduced VOC emissions.

5.2 Currently, an inter-laboratory study (ILS) is the most frequently used method for assessing the bias of a laboratory’s VOC emission test results. An ILS typically relies on a VOC source with an uncharacterized emission rate. Consequently, a large number of participants (Practice E691 recommends 30, with a minimum requirement of six) are needed to produce the data required to calculate a laboratory’s performance relative to the central tendency and distribution of the results for all participants. Due to the participant size requirement and other logistical issues, an ILS involves significant planning and coordination to achieve useful results.

5.3 Inter-laboratory studies have often shown significant variations in measured VOC emission rates among participating laboratories for a given source. Variability in the emission rate from the source often is suspected to be a contributing factor, but it is difficult to be certain of the cause. Thus, better characterized sources are needed for evaluating the ability of laboratories to generate VOC emission test results with acceptable bias as discussed in 8.6.

5.4 Proficiency tests (PT) for VOC emission testing typically focus on a laboratory’s analytical capabilities. For example, an analytical PT relies on a certified standard prepared by an accredited vendor as a reference. A laboratory analyzes the PT sample without knowledge of its concentration value. Acceptance of the results is judged by the deviation from the known value. Use of reference materials can expand analytical PT schemes to also include the impacts of test sample handling, test specimen preparation, chamber operation, and chamber air sampling.

5.5 Laboratories accredited under ISO/IEC 17025 are required to derive uncertainty estimates for their test results. Typically, this is done by developing an uncertainty budget and estimating an expanded uncertainty (ISO/IEC Guide 98, Practice D7440). Reference materials not accredited under ISO/IEC 17025 should still be delivered with documented uncertainty budgets. An uncertainty budget for a VOC emission test combines relevant sources of measurement uncertainty for all steps in the testing process from test specimen preparation through air sample analysis. A more efficient approach to determining the overall bias and precision for a VOC emission test is with repeated testing of a reference material (see ISO/IEC Guide 98, ISO Guide 33). This guide addresses the estimation of bias through comparison of the measured value to the reference material value. The precision is determined through repeated testing of multiple reference materials, ideally from the same production batch (see Practices D6299 and E691).

5.6 Other uses of an emissions reference material include verifying quality control emission measurements of manufactured product batches and providing traceability for third party certification.


1.1 This guide provides procedures for using a reference material with a known emission rate of a volatile organic compound (VOC) to estimate the bias associated with a VOC emission chamber test.

1.2 This guide may be used to assess measurements of VOC emissions conducted in a variety of environmental chambers, such as small-scale chambers, full-scale chambers, emission cells, and micro-scale chambers.

1.3 This guide may be used to assess measurements of VOC emissions from a variety of sources including “dry” materials (for example, carpet, floor tile and particleboard) and “wet” materials (for example, paint and cleaning products).

1.4 This guide can be used to support quality control efforts by emissions testing laboratories, third party accreditation of testing laboratories participating in emissions testing programs, and quality control efforts by manufacturers of building and other materials.

1.5 This guide may be used to support the determination of precision and bias of other commonly used VOC emission standards including Guide D5116, Test Method D6007, ISO 16000-9, ANSI/BIFMA M7.1, and CDPH/EHLB/Standard Method V1.2.

1.6 This guide also describes the attributes of a suitable emission reference material and the different methods available to independently determine the reference material’s VOC emission rate.

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.

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: 8
DOI: 10.1520/D7911-19
ICS Code: 13.040.20; 71.080.01