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Latest News

BS 10176: Taking Soil Samples for the Determination of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Specification

Jun 4, 2020

This recently published British Standard specifies methods for taking soil samples for the determination of VOCs. ALS have developed a range of approaches to comply with the requirements.

Two principal methods of collecting samples are specified within the standard:  

1. A small intact core sealed to prevent loss of VOCs is taken and sent to the laboratory;

2. A small portion of soil taken with a coring device is immediately placed in a preservative (e.g. methanol) in a sealed vial to be sent to the laboratory.

Many of these techniques have been used by ALS laboratories throughout Europe, the US and Australia.  Our international experience has enabled us to provide practical and pragmatic solutions to ensure you comply with BS 10176.

We have carried out extensive trials to the determine VOC limits of detection using methanol and are able to transport sampling equipment and pre-prepared vials via our standard courier. Whether soil samples are collected as intact cores or preserved using methanol, an extra container will still be required for analysis of moisture content. Additional quality control samples will be needed for each set of soils submitted.

Compliance with this standard will change the way samples are currently collected for determination of VOCs. It highlights the importance of close liaison and cooperation with your laboratory. 

For further information please contact our client services team: or 01244 528777.