Detection of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in concrete using the ensys test system


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MATRIX: Concrete

ANALYTES: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

Aroclor 1254: 0.5 ppm
Aroclor 1260: 0.5 ppm
Aroclor 1248: 1.0 ppm
Aroclor 1242: 2.0 ppm
Aroclor 1232: 4.0 ppm
Aroclor 1016: 4.0 ppm

Ensys PCB in Soil Test Kit. Ensys PCB Sample Extraction Kit. Reagents: table salt (sodium chloride) or salt packets used by restaurants (e.g. Dixie CrystalsÒ Salt, Savannah Foods & Industries, Inc., Savannah, GA). Equipment: Electric hand or hammer drill with masonry drill bit (¾” bit recommended), 1/8 teaspoon (for measuring table salt). Ensys Field Accessory System.

SAMPLE PREPARATION: Caution: Wear safety glasses and a dust mask for this procedure.
Concrete structures, walls, floor or slabs. Sample concrete by drilling holes and collecting the residual powder or dust. Three holes drilled to a depth of 1” with ¾” bit will generate at least 10 grams of powder, the amount of sample required for extraction and analysis. The analyst should determine how to sample an area for contamination area, that is, the number of samples to collect and the depth of sampling (drilling).

Concrete powder (dust) can be extracted and analyzed as “soil” in the package insert of the Sample Extraction Kit User’s guide. In this procedure, add approximately 0.5 g of salt (the equivalent of a salt packet or 1/8th teaspoon) to the soil extraction jar along with the 10 g concrete dust sample. The diluted extract is analyzed as “sample” according to the Ensys PCB in Soil User’s Guide contained in your test kit.

Follow procedure in the “Interpretation” section of the Ensys PCB in Soil User’s Guide to select the conservative standard:
Measure the sample in the following manner:
1. Place the sample tube in the right well of the photometer and record the reading.
2. If the photometer reading is 0 or negative, PCB’s are present at a level higher than the test level.
3. If the photometer reading is positive, PCB’s are present at a level lower than the test level.

Do not use reagents or components from one test kit with reagents or components from another. Do not use the test kits beyond the expiration date. Store at less than 80 degrees F and run procedure out of direct sunlight.

See U.S. EPA SW-846 Method 4020 for PCB analysis in soil.
Recoveries of PCBs will vary depending on the mechanism of retention of the PCBs, the nature of the solvent, the apparatus used in the extraction, the length of the extraction period and the levels of potentially interfering substances in the concrete sample.

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