Air Toxics

The Air Toxics service line, provided by the Columbia Basin Analytical Laboratories division of RJ Lee Group, is a broad category encompassing a multitude of air sampling and analysis applications. A wide range of organic and inorganic analytes are supported, such as routine industrial hygiene air monitoring for worker safety, environmental air analysis for remediation activities, vapor intrusion into homes and business, product evaluation, stack emissions monitoring, and urban and rural ambient air monitoring, including source discovery and apportionment. The program supports many regulatory methods from the EPA, NIOSH, and OSHA.

The air toxics service line has developed a large metals analysis capability with a significant focus on beryllium, including the capability to cross correlate beryllium concentrations with other metals to determine if the beryllium’s origins are related to human activity or decomposition of organic matter. Organic methods include those under NIOSH and OSHA for industrial hygiene applications and EPA for environmental and stack emissions applications, including EPA 8265 for volatile compounds using direct sampling mass spectrometry. Another method uses process mass spectrometers for direct real-time monitoring of compounds, which was approved by an EPA ruling in February 2018.

These methods provide regulatory support for the use of the Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS) systems for the real-time, ultra-trace analysis of volatiles in air matrices. The program is waiting for approval of an ASTM method for VOCs analysis by PTR-MS related to vapor intrusion, to be used in numerous applications. Instrumental techniques required to support the vapor program include the PTR-MS systems (available in a mobile configuration for deployment to customer locations), gas chromatography with detectors including mass spectrometry, flame ionization, and electron capture, high performance liquid chromatography, ICP/OES and ICP/MS. The program continues to expand with the addition of capabilities required to support and solve client’s needs.