Developing a Sampling Plan for USP 800 HD Surface Sampling

May. 6 2019

When collecting surface samples of hazardous drugs (HDs), you must develop a sampling plan in line with the United States Pharmacopeia’s General Chapter 800 (USP 800) standard for the handling of HDs in healthcare settings. It is recommended that your plan details your reasons for sampling, the locations to be sampled and a list of your HDs that the laboratory is able to analyze. You should also expect to detect at least some HD surface contamination the first time around, and be ready to act on the laboratory’s results.

Designing your sampling plan

For a successful sampling plan, your first step should be to select a kit that is backed by an AIHA LAP, LLC/ISO: 17025-accredited laboratory, which meets strict standards to ensure accurate laboratory results.

For step two, select a kit and stick with it. This enhances consistency, reproducibility and comparability of your results across multiple rounds of sampling. USP 800 also recommends that you sample the following six basic locations at least every six months:

  • Hood interior
  • Surface next to hood
  • Floor below hood
  • Pass-through
  • Outside buffer room or C-SCA
  • Patient administration area


  • Take training on how to collect samples consistently.
  • Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Avoid cross-contamination.
  • Pick sampling locations to match your plan.
  • Draw a map and photograph your sampling locations.
  • Sample the same locations for multiple rounds.
  • Standardize the sampling area size, e.g. using a template.
  • Wet the sampling medium in a consistent way each time.
  • When making contact with the sampling surface, apply pressure to the medium evenly.
  • Sample without a strategy.
  • Collect too few samples or too few HDs.
  • Select all-new sampling locations between rounds.
  • Sample without a delineated sampling area.
  • Spot-clean the sampling location first.
  • Sample from porous surfaces like fabrics.
  • Let the sampling medium touch anything else.
  • Sample dry without using a wetting agent.
  • Ignore the laboratory results.

Working with Bureau Veritas

The Bureau Veritas ChemoAlert kit is backed by an AIHA LAP, LLC/ISO: 17025-accredited laboratory, and has everything you need to collect up to 10 samples for up to 19 HDs per sample. contains prices, technical details and a video on how to perform the sampling consistently. Contact us at 1.847.726.3320 for assistance with your sampling plan and for questions about your results.