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Sampling Guides

Title PCM Analysis Field Sampling Guide



The following field sampling guide is designed for use as a reference for the field consultant. It summarizes procedures and techniques for the sampling of asbestos and other fibers by PCM (following NIOSH 7400) as they impact the analytical procedures.

For additional information on field sampling equipment, field health and safety, certain regulatory requirements for field sampling , sampling strategies and data interpretation, refer to the appropriate documented methodology and/or regulatory agency.

Air NIOSH 7400 .45 Cellulose ester membrane, 25mm; conductive cowl on cassette 400 – 1800 liters @ flow rate 2-10 L/min

7 f/mm2

(0.002f/cc with 1200 liters sample volume)

Unsampled cassette.

2 or 10% of total samples submitted-(which ever is greater)

There are a variety of field conditions which can effect the analytical process. These include:

Macroscopically (observed in the field)
if > 50% of the filter surface is covered with particles, the filter may be to overloaded to count and will bias the measured fiber concentration

Microscopically (observed through the microscope)
if 1/6 of the sample field of view is covered by a agglomerate, the microscopist must reject the field of veiw

Overloaded samples can not be analyzed.

A wet filter can not be analyzed

NOTE: The laboratory manager will contact the responsible party in the event there is a question on sample integrity. These may include circumstances which may include (but are not limited to):

Analysis requested outside laboratory’s scope of accreditation
Analysis requested outside laboratory capability (such as lack of equipment or staffing resources)
Obviously damaged or compromised samples, i.e. opened air cassettes, cassettes with torn or ripped filters
Improper labeling
Improper packaging
Impossible deadlines
Obvious faulty sampling technique
Improper sample media
Incompatible samples packaged together (i.e.- air samples with bulk samples)
Inappropriate analytical methodology requested


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