Measuring Chemical Hazards That Do Not Have a Method

Jun. 15 2022

Many chemical hazards have an available sampling and analytical method, as well as occupational exposure limits they can be measured against. If these methods fail to meet your sampling or analytical requirements, then it’s time to consider method development.

What is Method Development?

Method development is a process through which a scientist uses a systematic approach to devise a set of parameters for collection and analysis of one or more compounds of interest.

What is Method Validation?

Method validation is used to demonstrate the suitability of a sampling and analytical method for an intended purpose. It is an essential part of the process for ensuring that results reported to customers are correct. It also ensures that Bureau Veritas validation procedures meet or exceed industry consensus standards for quality control and regulatory compliance.

What needs to be defined before starting method development and validation?

As sampling situations are unique to every client and environment, there are several factors that need to be defined before developing a method:

  • Target identifiers such as name and CAS# 

  • State of target during sampling (gas, aerosol, etc.) 

  • Control limit (OEL, ASL, CPT or other specifications) 

  • Minimum anticipated sampling time 

  • Information about the process being sampled (matrix, handling, heating, etc.) 

  • Sensitivity requirements 

  • Number of anticipated samples or frequency of use 

  • An SDS, if available 

  • Regulatory requirements and guidelines, if applicable 

  • Potential routes of exposure and PPE considerations, if applicable  

To develop a new method, the Bureau Veritas laboratory will begin with a clear discussion of your sampling and analysis goals. Some of these goals could include industrial hygiene exposure assessment, control performance or containment assessment, qualitative identification or quantitation.

The Bureau Veritas Method Development Process

Once we have completed an assessment and receive a sample of the material, clients will work with a dedicated chemist who will formulate the analytical method for the chemical. Our methods are developed using advanced instrumentation technologies in High Pressure Chromatography (HPLC), Mass Spectrometry, elemental analysis, optical analysis, and Ion Chromatography.

Our chemist then works with a team of Certified Industrial Hygienists to establish sample collection protocols and to conduct media selection tests, including testing quantitative spikes on media and simulated air sampling. After performing a number of validation steps, the results will be documented and a fully validated method will be provided to the client.

Bureau Veritas Industrial Hygiene laboratories have developed more than 1,000 sampling and analytical methods over the last two decades, which guides this method development process.