Alpha Analytical has implemented exceptional measures to protect its employees and facilities against Coronavirus (COVID-19). We also recognize that it is important for our customers to continue operations through these challenging times. We are confident that our customers are taking precautions when continuing to work and collect air and vapor samples in the field including using hand sanitizer. This post is intended to help you be safe while still collecting valid vapor samples, especially when they are indoor air samples.
Ethyl alcohol is the primary ingredient in hand sanitizer and can affect vapor sampling outcomes.
Cleaners & Sanitizers Can Affect Vapor Testing Outcomes
Many of the hand sanitizers and surface cleaners/disinfectants contain volatile components which are not typical target VOC compounds. Please be aware that excessive use of these products or their close proximity to sample locations may have an impact on the data reported. Some common components include ethanol and isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and these may create the need for dilutions which in turn will raise reporting limits. In some cases, the data may not meet the required screening limits. To this end, we recommend:
- Be safe. Use these products appropriately to sanitize for personal protection, and when collecting Air/Vapor samples, avoid having these products on your person or in the immediate vicinity of the vapor sampling point.
- Be cautious about the use of spray sanitizers and spray surface cleaners during sample collection. We recommend using wipes instead of using spray sanitizers & cleaners to limit impacts to your sample.
- Rinse down your hands with water after applying hand sanitizer containing IPA or ethanol. The water will rinse away these two compounds.
- If available, use soap and water. It is just as effective and doesn't cause any interferences.
Alpha Analytical understands the challenges of scheduling sampling events during this crisis. We are working hard to assist you to meet these challenges. If you already have media and your project has been cancelled or postponed, please return the media to us. During this period, Alpha will waive all cleaning fees on returned, unused media. If you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your project manager or account manager.