Standard Active Last Updated: Oct 05, 2021
ASTM D8404-21

Standard Practice for Preparation of Soil Samples by Ammonium Bifluoride-Nitric Acid Digestion for Subsequent Analysis for Metals and Metalloids

Significance and Use

5.1 There is a need to monitor the content of metals and metalloids in order to determine the presence of potential hazards. Hence, effective and efficient methods are required for the preparation of soil samples for determination of metals and metalloids present therein.

5.2 This practice may be used for the digestion of soil samples that are collected during various construction and renovation and hazard survey activities in and around buildings and related structures. The practice is also suitable for the digestion of soil samples for metal and metalloid analyses collected from other locations, such as near roads and steel structures. For some other extraction procedures, see Practices D3974.

5.3 This practice is intended to be used to prepare samples that have been collected for hazard assessment purposes but may be used for other applications such as, for example, monitoring the effectiveness of remediation activities.

5.4 This practice may be capable of determining metals and metalloids bound within matrices, such as silica, that are not soluble in nitric acid alone.

5.5 This practice includes drying and homogenization steps to help assure that reported results are representative of the sample and are independent of potential differences in soil moisture levels among different sampling locations or changing weather conditions.


1.1 This practice covers drying, homogenization, and ammonium bifluoride-nitric acid digestion of soil samples and associated quality control (QC) samples for the determination of metals and metalloids using laboratory atomic spectrometry analysis techniques such as inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS), and graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS). For ammonium bifluoride-nitric acid digestion of airborne dust and dust-wipe samples for the determination of metals and metalloids, see Practice D8344.

1.2 This practice is based on U.S. EPA SW 846, Test Method 3050, Test Method D7202, and Practice D8344.

1.3 This practice contains notes that are explanatory and are not part of the mandatory requirements of this standard.

1.4 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.

1.5 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.

1.6 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.

Contact Sales
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Book of Standards Volume: 11.07
Developed by Subcommittee: D22.04
Pages: 6
DOI: 10.1520/D8404-21
ICS Code: 13.040.30