ISO 20581, “Workplace air – General requirements for the performance of procedures for the measurement of chemical agents,” has just been released. This new ISO standard is based on EN 482 (including Amendment 1 from 2015). It provides you with information on how to measure for chemical agents in the air in workplace breathing zones. This will facilitate the development of a quantitative exposure assessment protocol for your organization.
The ISO Technical Committee 146 (author of this standard) recognizes the impact of national laws and regulations that require assessment of possible worker exposure to chemical agents. So there is a need for reliable and valid testing procedures to use over time. You’ll use these procedures in conjunction with exposure limit values and control strategies to fulfill your requirements.
There are already any number of standards on specific types of air quality measurement devices (sampling pumps, various detectors, and so on). The ISO 20581 is a general performance requirement document. You’ll use it to develop procedures for the determination of the concentration of chemical agents in the workplace atmosphere. The actual testing will occur in laboratory conditions.
What does this mean for the user? ISO 20581 covers a broad number of screening measurement protocols. It discusses various types of testing, like screening measurements using time-weighted average concentration, concentration in time and/or space, using occupational exposure limit values, and periodic measurements. The Section 6 delves into these in greater detail, providing you with performance requirements for each. Test methods and valication reporting is also covered.
Annex A provides you with the structure of a method description. Annex B is on the calculation of uncertainty in measurement, with particular emphasis on airborne particles, gases and vapors. And an 18-item bibliography completes the document.
In order to take advantage of the wealth of information in this standard, you’ll need to purchase a copy and you’ll want to use an authorized ISO distributor like Document Center Inc. Search for and order ISO standards at our webstore, www.document-center.com. Here’s a direct link to the order page for ISO 20581. You can get a copy in either paper format or for pdf download.
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