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Comparison of three sampling and analytical methods for the determination of airborne hexavalent chromium.

Boiano JM; Wallace ME; Sieber WK; Groff JH; Wang J; Ashley K
J Environ Monit 2000 Aug; 2(4):329-333
A field study was conducted with the goal of comparing the performance of three recently developed or modified sampling and analytical methods for the determination of airborne hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)). The study was carried out in a hard chrome electroplating facility and in a jet engine manufacturing facility where airborne Cr(VI) was expected to be present. The analytical methods evaluated included two laboratory-based procedures (OSHA Method ID-215 and NIOSH Method 7605) and a field-portable method (NIOSH Method 7703). These three methods employ an identical sampling methodology: collection of Cr(VI)-containing aerosol on a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) filter housed in a sampling cassette, which is connected to a personal sampling pump calibrated at an appropriate flow rate. The basis of the analytical methods for all three methods involves extraction of the PVC filter in alkaline buffer solution, chemical isolation of the Cr(VI) ion, complexation of the Cr(VI) ion with 1,5-diphenylcarbazide, and spectrometric measurement of the violet chromium diphenylcarbazone complex at 540 nm. However, there are notable specific differences within the sample preparation procedures used in three methods. To assess the comparability of the three measurement protocols, a total of 20 side-by-side air samples were collected, equally divided between a chromic acid electroplating operation and a spray paint operation where water soluble forms of Cr(VI) were used. A range of Cr(VI) concentrations from 0.6 to 960 microg m(-3), with Cr(VI) mass loadings ranging from 0.4 to 32 microg, was measured at the two operations. The equivalence of the means of the log-transformed Cr(VI) concentrations obtained from the different analytical methods was compared. Based on analysis of variance (ANOVA) results, no statistically significant differences were observed between mean values measured using each of the three methods. Small but statistically significant differences were observed between results obtained from performance evaluation samples for the NIOSH field method and the OSHA laboratory method.
Sampling-methods; Analytical-methods; Chromium-compounds; Laboratory-testing; Aerosols; Air-samples; Air-sampling
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Journal Article
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NIOSH Division
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Journal of Environmental Monitoring
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division