Frequent Questions

What is the recommended holding time for SW-846 Method 8082 for PCBs for aqueous, soil, and oil matrices?

40 CFR 136 specifies a one-year holding time for PCBs. SW-846 Chapter 4 states “none”.

What is the recommended holding time for Method 8082 for the aqueous, soil, and oil matrices?


SW-846 gives "Recommended Holding Times" in Chapter 4, Table 4-1:

Footnote "a" of Table 4.1 states: "The information presented in this table does not represent EPA requirements, but rather it is intended solely as guidance.  Selection of containers, preservation techniques and applicable holding times should be based on the stated project-specific data quality objectives."  Therefore, if the samples were not collected for Clean Water Act (CWA) compliance (40 CFR 136), the hold time for PCBs is usually specified in a site-specific QAPP.  Many QA/QC programs, QAPPs, and laboratories usually default to the recommended holding times for SVOCs (7 days water, 14 days soil from sample collection to extraction, and 40 days from extraction to analysis).

It is important to note that PCBs are quite stable compounds in environmental and waste samples, and a holding time prior to extraction of the sample may not be warranted.  However, once extracted, it is advisable to analyze the sample within 40 days because, while the PCBs will likely not degrade, the solvent could evaporate over time, biasing the result high.

Other category: Holding Time & Preservation


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