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Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

Standard Operating Procedure for Sampling Porous Surfaces for Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

This Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is suitable for collection of a porous matrix sample for analysis of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). This SOP describes sampling techniques for both hard and soft porous surfaces:

  • Hard surfaces, and most soft surfaces, can be sampled using an impact hammer drill to generate a uniform, finely ground, powder to be extracted and analyzed for PCBs. This procedure is primarily geared at providing enough sample quantity for two analyses.
  • Hard porous surfaces include: concrete, brick, asphalt, cement, sandstone, limestone, unglazed ceramics, and other possible PCB suspected material. This procedure may also be used on other softer porous surfaces, such as wood.
  • Soft surfaces can be sampled using a chisel or sharp knife to generate a representative sample to be extracted and analyzed for PCBs. Soft porous surfaces include wood, wall plasterboard, low density plastics, rubber, caulking, and other PCB suspected material.

Additionally, this SOP provides for collection of surface samples (0 -0.5 inches) and delineation of PCB contamination throughout the core of the porous surface. The procedure can be used to sample the porous surface at distinctly different depth zones.

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