Author Archive

The new U.S. EPA Method TO-15A blog series – Part 3: Use CLEAN air on a CLEAN analytical system!

From the start of this blog series, I have been teasing you with how to take your canister blanks from the following red trace down to the blue trace: In this post, I shall finally stop dragging it out. BUT FIRST… (Come on now, you had to have known this was coming) I shall digress […]

The new U.S. EPA Method TO-15A blog series – Part 2: Use air when analyzing air!

Last time, we left you with a teaser, how to take your canister blanks from the following red trace down to the blue trace: Before we get to that, let us back up to 2015, where both Wayne Whipple (retired US EPA) and I coincidentally presented on canister cleaning and canister blank levels at the […]

The new U.S. EPA Method TO-15A blog series – Part 1: It has arrived!!!

March 2016, the U.S. EPA announced it would start updating the long overdue (i.e., not updated since 1999) Compendium of Methods for the Determination of Toxic Organic Compounds in Ambient Air Second Edition (625/R-96/010b), by soliciting public comments and suggestions on Method TO-15*. May 2016, the agency closed the open comment period and set off […]

SPME Arrow Configurations

If you have been looking at SPME Arrows, because we convinced you of the Arrows’ mechanical robustness, sensitivity, speed, etc., you could find yourself in a decision dilemma. Beyond phase selection, which is the subject of another blog, the various SPME Arrow configurations may leave you stymied. So, it is the intent of the current […]

Not all 3.2 L air sampling canisters are 3 liters. Wait… what!?

The other day a customer contacted me to share the following discrepancy she has observed on several occasions: “when I collect ambient air samples with Restek 3 L canisters and collocated 3.2 L canisters from the competition, the canisters fill in the same amount of time.” Obviously this does not make sense, so I immediately […]

SPME Fundamentals: Don’t forget the salt for HS VOCs!

Long story short: We were comparing head space (HS)-SPME data with some colleagues, when they asked us “how are we using a 4 minute extraction time on our brewed coffee, when they need 10 minutes to achieve comparable results?” I told you coffee was on the horizon in my last blog. After comparing the 12 […]

SPME Arrow for Acrylamide in Potato Chips

I love potato chips and I love the SPME Arrow. So, after talking with my colleague Joe Konschnik about taking advantage of the SPME Arrow to analyze acrylamide and other off-flavor compounds in potato chips; I immediately grabbed a bag of chips from my file cabinet (yes, I keep snacks readily at hand and I […]

Aura Personal Air Samplers for NIOSH Canister Method 3900

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has published their “Volatile Organic Compounds, C1 to C10, Canister Method 3900” in the NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM), Fifth Edition. In short, the method is a variant of United States (U.S.) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Method TO-15; however, with a focus on a particular […]

TO-15 + PAMS + TO-11A = China’s HJ759 + PAMS + HJ683

It is very fitting that I write this blog while I am in Shanghai, China. The impetus for this blog, and the blogs to follow, is that the Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment (formerly the Ministry of Environmental Protection) published their “VOCs Monitoring Scheme of Environmental Air Quality.” In short, this standard outlines the sampling […]

Paul’s excellent questions on “Liner Selection for HS VOCs”

I had a feeling the blog I posted yesterday was sure to prompt some thought-provoking questions, as some of my peers had already been doing so. So, it came as no surprise that Paul posted the following excellent questions (in black) to which I have responded to in blue. Normally, I would just address all […]