ASTM-D6552 Standard Practice for Controlling and Characterizing Errors in Weighing Collected Aerosols

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Standard Practice for Controlling and Characterizing Errors in Weighing Collected Aerosols




1.1 Assessment of airborne aerosol hazards in the occupational setting entails sampling onto a collection medium followed by analysis of the collected material. The result is generally an estimated concentration of a possibly hazardous material in the air. The uncertainty in such estimates depends on several factors, one of which relates to the specific type of analysis employed. The most commonly applied method for analysis of aerosols is the weighing of the sampled material. Gravimetric analysis, though apparently simple, is subject to errors from instability in the mass of the sampling medium and other elements that must be weighed. An example is provided by aerosol samplers designed to collect particles so as to agree with the inhalable aerosol sampling convention (see ISO 7708, Guide D6062, and EN 481). For some sampler types, filter and cassette are weighed together to make estimates. Therefore, if the cassette, for example, absorbs or loses water between the weighings required for a concentration estimation, then errors may arise. This practice covers such potential errors and provides solutions for their minimization.

1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

Significance and Use

4.1 The weighing of collected aerosol is one of the most common and purportedly simple analytical procedures in both occupational and environmental atmospheric monitoring (for example, Test Method D4532 or D4096). Problems with measurement accuracy occur when the amount of material collected is small, owing both to balance inaccuracy and variation in the weight of that part of the sampling medium that is weighed along with the sample. The procedures presented here for controlling and documenting such analytical errors will help provide the accuracy required for making well-founded decisions in identifying, characterizing, and controlling hazardous conditions.

4.2 Recommendations are given as to materials to be used. Means of controlling or correcting errors arising from instability are provided. Recommendations as to the weighing procedure are given. Finally, a method evaluation procedure for estimating weighing errors is described.

4.3 Recommendations are also provided for the reporting of weights relative to LOD (see 3.2.6) and LOQ (see 3.2.7). The quantities, LOD and LOQ, are computed as a result of the method evaluation.


blank; control filter; filter; foam; gravimetric; limit of detection; limit of quantitation; LOD; LOQ; sampling media; weighing; weight;; ICS Number Code 13.040.99 (Other standards related to air quality)

To find similar documents by ASTM Volume:

11.07 (Atmospheric Analysis)

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13.040.99 (Other standards related to air quality)

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Document Number


Revision Level

2006 R16 EDITION



Modification Type


Publication Date

Nov. 15, 2016

Document Type


Page Count

9 pages

Committee Number