Need Hazardous Waste Sampling and Analysis? Know These Things First

Author: Marketing
Date: February 3, 2024

At ACTenviro, we assist our clients in sampling and analyzing chemicals for multiple different purposes, including:

  • - Industrial hygiene monitoring
    - Waste determination
    - Site clearance

Once collected either by ACTenviro field staff, our clients or, occasionally, third parties, samples are taken to certified local environmental laboratories in our respective locations for analysis. In some cases, the certified lab performs the collection, too.

Alternatively, our technicians may conduct analysis of field samples while at the job site, testing liquids for corrosivity levels with pH strips or using Spilfyter-brand classifier strips to detect the presence of certain contaminants in surface residue.

Regulatory Overview (California-Specific)
The Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) is responsible for implementing the California Environmental Laboratory Improvement Act of 1989. Per the California Water Boards,

  • Under the Act, accreditation is required of an environmental laboratory for producing analytical data for California regulatory agencies, such as the Division of Drinking Water (DDW), The Department of Toxic Substances Control, the State Water Resources Control Board, the Regional Water Quality Control Boards, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The data may be used to demonstrate compliance with applicable requirements of drinking water, wastewater, food for pesticide residues, shellfish testing, and hazardous waste sections of the California Health and Safety and Water Codes.

ELAP's mission is to “implement a sustainable accreditation program that ensures laboratories generate environmental and public health data of known, consistent, and documented quality to meet stakeholder needs.” In California, ACTenviro partners exclusively with ELAP-certified laboratories.

Certified Analysis
Samples collected for certified analysis are typically either wipe samples, solid soil samples or liquid samples. The laboratories typically provide ACTenviro or our clients setups that are prepared ahead of time with deionized (DI) water or pre-saturated with methanol, hexane or nitric acid.

Samples that are collected in the field by ACT or others are documented on a Chain of Custody (COC) form that details the sample ID number, date and time sampled, matrix, and number and type of containers, as well as the analysis required and specific turnaround time (TAT) requested. Check out the picture accompanying this piece for more detail on the COC form.

Wipe Samples
Wipe samples are collected by ACTenviro personnel that have been trained to follow the Brookhaven National Laboratory Protocol for Surface Wipe Sampling for metals. The guidelines can be found here. Typically, wipes can be utilized for detecting the presence of metals, VOC, SVOC or for verifying pH levels. Wipe samples are often collected as support evidence to validate the effectiveness of cleaning and decontamination efforts for site closures or employee
exposure mitigation.

Sampling plans including statistical analysis may be prepared for complex projects. In simpler situations, we merely sample the surfaces most likely to have been exposed to chemicals or contaminated residues, as required by the client and/or regulatory agency.

Liquid Samples
Liquid samples are often collected for storm water discharge analysis or for waste determination purposes such as analysis for water content, metals analysis, etc.

Solids or Soils Samples
Bulk solids are typically also periodically collected for waste determination and soil samples are also collected for waste determination or site clearance.

Soil samples are typically collected into soil sleeves while bulk samples are collected into plastic containers.

It is critical to sample following strict procedures and protocols. Should you need any sampling done, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or any of my colleagues. We would be glad to help.

– Adam Brandin, Director of Sales


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