Guide for sampling and analysis of bisphenol A (BPA) in industrial effluent: chapter 5

Chapter 5

5.0 Equipment

In order for a sampling event to be successful, the sample collector will need to ensure that the appropriate equipment is available. Appropriate equipment may fall into any of the general categories discussed below.

5.1 Sampling Equipment

When a sampling event involves sampling for trace analyses, as is typically expected with BPA sampling, it is very important that the sampling equipment be inert. Inert sampling equipment will not contaminate or interfere with the analytical results by imparting small concentrations of BPA into the sample. For example, organics (such as BPA) have a tendency to be absorbed by plastic sampling equipment (i.e., polyethylene, polypropylene and polycarbonate). Typically, it is recommended that stainless steel or Teflon® equipment (i.e., buckets and sampling rods) be used to collect the sample. The sample collector must ensure that any sampling equipment complies with the materials compatibility outlined above.

Under no circumstances should polycarbonate sampling equipment be used when collecting samples for BPA analysis. Polycarbonates have been found to leach BPA into water samples, especially at high temperaturesFootnote 1.

The following table provides a list of recommended equipment for various types of sampling events. Not all of these may be required for a particular sampling event, but they are included here for reference.

Table 2: Suggested Equipment
Equipment Grab Sample Manual Composite Sample Automatic Composite Sample
Autosampler     X
Autosampler mounting hardware (for manhole installations)     X
Teflon® suction tubing to fit autosampler suction fitting (usually 3/8” ID)     X
Teflon®/stainless steel strainer     X
Pick (to remove the manhole cover) X X X
Sledgehammer (in the event the manhole cover is difficult to open) X X X
Gear clamps (to clamp suction tubing in place around strainer and suction fitting for the pump)     X
Nutdriver (to tighten the gear clamps)     X
Graduated cylinder (to calibrate the autosampler)     X
Rope     X
Sandbag (if required - see Section 6)      
10-L glass composite sample jar or stainless steel container for use in the autosampler or manual composite sample   X X
Knife or sharp scissors     X
BPA-free gloves (i.e., nitrile gloves) X X X
BPA sample containers (i.e., 1-L amber glass bottle with a Teflon® lined lid) X X X
Deionized water X X X
Stainless steel bucket for equipment rinsing X X X
Stainless steel bucket for sampling of effluent from a pipe or similar outfall (the bucket must provide a low hydraulic retention time)     X
Stainless steel sample rod with glass sample collection jar to collect grab samples from out-of-reach locations X X  
Waste bucket to collect rinse water X X X
Flashlight X X X
Measuring tape X X X
All required PPE (safety glasses, traffic cones, safety boots, hard hats, high-visibility vests, hearing protection, etc.) X X X
Camera X X X
Cooler with ice/cold packs X X X
Thermometer X X X
pH meter X X X
Ice   X X

5.2 Sample Containers

Given that organics such as BPA typically adsorb onto plastic surfaces, it is recommended that BPA samples be collected in a 1-L amber glass bottle with a Teflon®-lined lid. For automatic samplers, silicone tubing (preferably medical grade) fitted with a peristaltic pump is needed for sample collection. However, samples collected using this method should be accompanied by equipment blank samples (see section 7.2.1.).

5.3 Personal Protective Equipment

Prior to conducting a sampling event, the sample collector should, depending on the sampling location, identify the type of PPE required. The following list provides examples of the type of PPE that may be needed for sampling in the field:

  • First aid kit;
  • Drinking water;
  • Mobile phone/communication equipment;
  • Wet weather gear;
  • Waders/rubber boots;
  • Disposable coveralls;
  • Hard hat;
  • Safety glasses;
  • Splash shield;
  • Hearing protection;
  • High-visibility vest;
  • Traffic cones;
  • Steel-toed boots;
  • Warm clothing for cold weather work;
  • Disposable gloves;
  • Antiseptic hand wash;
  • Lifejackets; and
  • Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB).

5.4 Decontamination

Decontamination is the cleaning of sampling equipment to remove trace analyses and to avoid cross contamination of samples. In order to minimize the chance and consequence of contamination, it is important to use good sampling design. When planning a sampling event, the individual collecting the samples should consider the following:

  • Use dedicated sampling equipment (i.e., sampling equipment that is always used to sample effluent or for receiving-environment sampling) that is BPA-free;
  • If possible, the individual collecting the samples should undertake tasks in a sterile laboratory environment rather than in the field;
  • Eliminate the need for unnecessary equipment. Where possible, the sample collector should collect the sample directly in the sample container; and
  • When multiple-use equipment is unpractical or may result in contamination, use disposable equipment that is BPA-free.

If multiple-use equipment is being used, it should be decontaminated prior to sampling and between collection of samples.

Since all sampling equipment presents a risk of cross-contamination, they must be thoroughly cleaned between sampling. When sampling for BPA, it is recommended that small sampling equipment be cleaned thoroughly using a laboratory-grade detergent solution and a scrubbing brush. Specifically, the equipment should be:

  • Rinsed so that no soap residue is left;
  • Triple-rinsed using laboratory-grade methanol;
  • Triple-rinsed using deionized water; and
  • Sealed in aluminum foil to prevent BPA contamination from the environment. For containers, ensure aluminum foil covers the opening.

It is important for the individual collecting the sample to consider the following:

  • Do not decontaminate equipment near the sampling site. For example, plastic sheets can be used to contain the cleaning procedure and prevent contamination from ground material;
  • Wear clean, sterile gloves and appropriate PPE while performing the decontamination process;
  • Supply deionized water in glass containers to ensure that no BPA contamination is introduced from plastic sources; and
  • Collect all waste rinse in a bucket and transport it back to the analytical laboratory for proper disposal.
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