PCB Congeners in Air

Analytical testing dots Testing PCB congeners with HRGC-HRMS instrument

ALS Environmental Services Modified CARB-428 Method for HRGC/HRMS Determination of PCB Congeners in Air

No EPA method exists for determination of PCB congeners in ambient air by high resolution gas chromatography/high resolution mass spectrometry (HRGC/HRMS). ALS Environmental has modified the existing California Air Resources Board (CARB) method 428 for use with polyurethane foam (PUF) sampling in order to test ambient air for all 209 PCB congeners.

Analyzing for PCB congeners in ambient and indoor air has a number of applications and is especially useful in evaluating exposure risk after a PCB cleanup. Sources of PCBs include incineration emissions, transformer fires, and outdated building materials such as PCB laden caulk (commonly used in buildings and schools built prior to 1978). Typically, the PCB contamination is adsorbed to dust and fine particulates, presenting an exposure risk to people in the building.

Sampling is done in the same manner as described in EPA Methods TO-4A or TO-10A, utilizing a polyurethane foam (PUF) cartridge. PUF cartridges are pre-cleaned in the laboratory and spiked with a surrogate standard containing PCB-8L and PCB-70L. This surrogate standard was developed by ALS Environmental to measure sampling efficiency.

PUFs are available for high-volume and low-volume sampling. If testing for both PCB congeners and dioxins/furans (PCDDs/PCDFs) is needed, the PUF sample can be spiked with PCB and PCDD/PCDF surrogate standards prior to shipment to the client. As a result, both PCBs and PCDDs/PCDFs can be analyzed from the same PUF cartridge.

Analytical testing dotsLearn more about Testing for PCB Congeners...

View the 209 PCB Congeners...

View the PCB Analyte List...

Read about Public Health Levels for PCBs in Indoor School Air (PDF)...