Standard Guide for Sampling Waste and Soils for Volatile Organic Compounds

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This guide describes sample collection and handling procedures designed to minimize losses of VOCs. The principal mechanisms for the loss of VOCs from materials during collection, handling, and storage are volatilization and biodegradation. Susceptibility of various VOCs to these two loss mechanisms is both compound and matrix specific. In general, compounds with higher vapor pressures are more susceptible to volatilization than compounds with lower vapor pressures. Also, aerobically degradable compounds are generally more susceptible to biodegradation than anaerobically degradable compounds. In some cases, the formation of other compounds not originally present in the material can occur. Loss or gain of VOCs leads to analytical results that are unrepresentative of field conditions.



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