Detection of Environmental Contaminants

Standardization News

Detection of Environmental Contaminants

ASTM International’s waste management committee (D34) is developing a proposed test method that focuses on detecting hazardous hydrocarbons in soil.

According to ASTM International member Wesley McCall, the proposed standard (WK84635) centers around use of a steel probe called an optical imaging profiler (OIP). The probe is advanced into soils and unconsolidated materials using direct push methods where an ultraviolet (UV) light illuminates the soil. If present, petroleum fluids exposed to the UV light will fluoresce and a camera will capture the image. Software will then determine the percentage of the area where petroleum fluids are present.

“The OIP Practice will be useful for many people involved with environmental investigations,” says McCall. “Consultants, property owners and regulators will often use this innovative technology to help them determine if petroleum LNAPLs [light non-aqueous phase liquids] are present at a location, how extensively they are distributed, and if they impact the local groundwater supply.” 

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