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Notice to Readers Availability of NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods, Third Edition

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has announced that volumes 1 and 2 of the NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods, Third Edition, are now available; a third volume is planned for 1985. This manual is the primary source of analytical methods cited in Criteria Documents, Current Intelligence Bulletins, and reports produced by NIOSH of health-hazard evaluations, industry-wide studies, and control-technology assessments.

The manual was first published in 1974 in loose-leaf form and contained 39 methods for analyzing 130 substances found in air and biologic samples; the 1974 manual was reprinted four times. From 1974 through 1979, the joint NIOSH/Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standards Completion Program established performance criteria and validated over 300 existing and new analytical methods (1,2). The seven-volume Second Edition was published during 1977-1981 (3). The Second Edition included methods contained in the First Edition, the new methods validated by the joint NIOSH/OSHA Program, and additional methods developed by NIOSH. Its 3,700 pages include 510 analytical methods for monitoring chemical exposures in the workplace. An estimated 6,000 copies are now in use.

NIOSH began work on the Third Edition in 1983. The major goals were to incorporate new data and analytic technology evaluated by NIOSH or used by NIOSH or contracting laboratories and to reduce the size of the manual by using a more concise format.

More than 60 chemists and industrial hygienists participated in the revision. Analytical methods were included for substances that: (1) are found frequently in field samples sent to NIOSH for analysis; (2) are referred to in NIOSH Criteria Documents or OSHA regulations; and (3) have a "high toxicity/exposure index," as determined from the known toxicity of the substance and the number of workers potentially exposed to it (4).

Discussion of each method begins with a summary, followed by a list of the reagents and equipment needed, special safety precautions, and instructions for taking and handling samples. Three indexes are included for cross reference: (1) method numbers used in the Third Edition; (2) method numbers used in the Second Edition; and (3) names and synonyms of the substance. A section on applicability helps users of the manual choose the most appropriate methods for their purposes. Chapters on the development and evaluation of methods, quality assurance, air sampling techniques, and biologic samples are included to expand on the protocols used by NIOSH to develop and apply the methods.

The NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods, Third Edition, is available from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, under a subscription service that includes the basic manual and all annual supplements through 1987. The manual is also available from the Superintendent of Documents for $31.00 (U.S. orders) or $38.75 (outside the United States).

Questions and suggestions for improving the manual should be sent to: Manual Coordinator, NIOSH, Division of Physical Sciences and Engineering, Mail Stop R-2, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226; telephone: (513) 684-4323. Reported by Div of Physical Sciences and Engineering, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, CDC.


  1. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Documentation of the NIOSH validation tests. DHEW publication no. (NIOSH) 77-185, 1977.

  2. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Development and validation of methods for sampling and analysis of workplace toxic substances. DHHS publication no. (NIOSH) 80-133, 1980.

  3. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Manual of analytical methods, 2nd ed. DHEW publication no. (NIOSH) 77-157-A (V.1), 77-157-B (V.2), 77-157-C (V.3), 78-175 (V.4), 79-141 (V.5); and DHHS publication no. (NIOSH) 80-125 (V.6) and 82-100 (V.7).

  4. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. A model for the identification of high risk occupational groups using RTECS and NOHS data. DHHS publication no. (NIOSH) 83-117, 1983.

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