Frequently Asked Questions

What is the recommended method for collecting soil/solid samples for volatile organic analysis?

SW-846 Method 5035A is the best method for most soil/solid samples. For basic information see this page. For an in depth Powerpoint presentation on Method 5035A including how to perform the sampling see this link.

What does the “reporting limit” mean on your final report?

The reporting limit, also known as the PQL, is the lowest concentration that the laboratory can report with certainty. The reporting limit is not to be confused with a regulatory limit.

What is the “surr” or “surrogate” listed on my organic analysis report?

The surrogate is a compound intentionally spiked into your sample to measure the accuracy of our analysis also known as the recovery. This compound was not in your sample until we added it so do not report it as a hit to any regulator.

How do I use the RCRA Hazardous Waste Tables with TCLP or Total analysis?

The RCRA Hazardous Waste Table lists the regulatory limits for samples that have been put through the TCLP process (method 1311). If your sample was processed through TCLP then use this table directly. If you performed a total analysis of your sample and there are no free liquids then multiply the TCLP table by a factor of 20 and change the units to mg/kg. The resulting value is the regulatory limit for total analysis.

The units I need are different than you reported. How can I convert them to what I need?

  • mg/L x 1000 = µg/L
  • mg/kg x 1000 = µg/kg
  • µg/L / 1000 = mg/L
  • µg/kg / 1000 = mg/kg.

What is TCLP? 

TCLP stands for “Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure”.  TCLP results are mostly used as a gate keeper test for a typical municipal Title D Landfill.  If TCLP results are less than the D List MCLs, the waste is not hazardous and may be disposed at a Title D Landfill.