Glossary

Article

Glossary

Benzene

Benzene is an important organic chemical compound with the chemical formula C6H6. The benzene molecule is composed of 6 carbon atoms joined in a ring with 1 hydrogen atom attached to each. As it contains only carbon and hydrogen atoms, benzene is classed as a hydrocarbon.

Blanks

Refers to taking a capped sample (no exposure to ambient air) at single monitoring location for quality assurance/control evaluation.

Concentration

In chemistry, concentration refers to the amount of a substance per defined space. Concentration usually is expressed in terms of mass per unit volume (i.e., PPB, ug/m3).

Duplicate

Refers to taking an additional sample at single monitoring location for quality assurance/control evaluation.

EPA

Environmental Protection Agency of United States

EPA Test Method 325 A/B

Companion EPA Methods 325A (Sampler Deployment and VOC Sample Collection) and 325B (Sampler Preparation and Laboratory Analysis) select benzene as the representative compound to evaluate the overall emissions from manufacturing facilities. Passive sampling onto sorbent tubes followed by Thermal Desorption-Gas-Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (TD-GC/MS) analysis has been established as the standard air monitoring technology for the new benzene technical standard.

Fenceline

Fenceline means the property boundary of a facility or internal monitoring perimeter established in accordance with the requirements in Section 8.2 of EPA test method 325.

GC/MS

Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is an analytical method that combines the features of gas-chromatography and mass spectrometry to identify different substances within a test sample.

Hydrocarbon

Any of a class of organic chemical compounds composed only of the elements carbon (C) and hydrogen (H). The carbon atoms join together to form the framework of the compound, and the hydrogen atoms attach to them in many different configurations. Hydrocarbons are the principal constituents of petroleum and natural gas.

Laboratory data qualifiers or "flags"

Data qualifiers are used in lab reports to indicate a problem or irregularity with the analytical result. The most common qualifiers are shown here; most labs also will use footnotes to explain the qualifiers they have used.

J: The number is an estimated concentration because something in the sample interfered with the analysis.

U: The contaminant was not detected at a concentration greater than the detection limit.

UJ: The contaminant was not detected, but the detection limit is estimated because of interference from something in the sample.

R: The data are unusable. Resampling and reanalysis are necessary for verification.

Method Detection Limit (MDL)

The lowest concentration (greater than zero) of the substance tested that can be measured and reported with 99 percent confidence.

Method Reporting Limit (MRL)

The lowest concentration of the substance tested that can be reported reliably under normal laboratory conditions.

MOECC

Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change

Non-detect (ND)

The target compound was not detected above the MDL.

PPB

Parts per billion (ppb) is the number of units of mass of a contaminant per 1000 million units of total mass.

Quality Assurance / Quality Control (QA/QC)

Quality assurance is the systematic process of checking to see whether a product or service being developed is meeting specified requirements. Quality control are the tools used to monitor or regulate the process. Quality control is an aspect of quality assurance.

RCA

Root cause analysis (RCA) is a systematic process for identifying “root causes” of problems or events and an approach for responding to them to prevent reoccurrence.

Sorbent

A material used to absorb or adsorb liquids or gases.

Sorbent tube

An inert coated stainless steel tube with fixed dimensions and is packed with solid adsorbent material.

Ug/M3

Micrograms per Cubic Meter of Air. Used as a measure of ambient air concentration of a particular compound or species.

VOC

Volatile organic compounds (VOC) means any compound of carbon, excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides or carbonates, and ammonium carbonate, which participates in atmospheric photochemical reactions.

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