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Particulates and Metals in Air

Particulates: Total Suspended Particulate (TSP) & PM 10

Matrices: This method is applicable to filters used for the collection for PM-10 and TSP.

Pre-field filters are conditioned in a chamber of constant humidity and temperature and are gravimetrically  tared. After air samples have been collected, the filters are returned to the laboratory and conditioned as before and weighed. The filters are numbered and placed in a large envelope to be delivered to the field they should be returned to the laboratory in the same envelope. The final filter weight minus the tare weight is calculated.

Sampling Recommendations

Gloves must be used when handling the filters, as oil residue from hands may contribute to the sample weights or cause tearing of the filter. Small differences in weights can

significantly affect the final calculation.  Care with handling and a quick return to  Alpha Analytical with completed documentation are key to quality data for this method.

PM-10 and TSP filters: TSP glass filters: 8 x 10 in. size from Whatman (No.: 1882-866),

or equivalent. PM-10 quartz filters: 8 X 10 in. size from Whatman (No.: 1851-8866), or

equivalent. Filters are pre-numbered by the manufacturer.

Metals in Air

Metals in air are a concern from inhalation. Metals typically  are present in particulates as minerals or chemical compounds.

40 CFR Part 50 App G Lead in Air

The EPA level for lead in air is 0.15 µg/m 3, analysis performed by Pb in total suspended particulate matter (Pb-TSP).

Pb-TSP is collected for 24 hours on a TSP filter as described in Appendix B of part 50, the Reference Method for the Determination of Suspended Particulate Matter in the Atmosphere (High-Volume Method). This method is for the analysis of Pb from TSP filters by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Lead analysis is performed by Spectrometry (ICP-MS)

Total Metals IO3  (similar methods NIOSH 7100)

Total metals analysis is performed by collecting sample of a 37mm cartridge filter then digesting the total collected sample/filter and analysis by EPA SW-846 Method 6020B. The range of metals reported is limited by filter blank concentrations maybe of concern. Typically RCRA metals are requested, less mercury which is analyzed by Method 6009.

Results are reported as weight on filter. They can be reported in ug/M3 if volume is provided.

Important to use the sorbent media Chain of Custody.

Key considerations are the quality of air being sampled (the source) and total volume collected.  



Contact Alpha Analytical today for your upcoming Air Testing project.

Call 800-624-9220 and speak with one of our technical experts or email us at .


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