Christine Millner, CTEH’s manager of quality management, recently headed to the 2016 American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition (AIHCE) in Baltimore to share best practices for whole air sampling. During her presentation, Christine highlighted different sampling methods and applications to help other industrial hygienists choose techniques with ease, avoid common mistakes and learn to collect appropriate samples in the future.

This week, Inside CTEH is giving you a behind-the-scenes look at Christine’s presentation and sharing a few of her whole air sampling tips:

•Planning: Start with planning. First, you’ll need to determine what you are sampling for (i.e. what are the chemicals of interest). Write out your work plan and include methods, apparatuses, time requirements and any known constraints.

•Applicable methodology: Next, determine your methodology. This will depend on applicable standards, regulations and guidance, as well as the type of exposure (i.e., worker or community).

•Requirements: Always keep in mind the screening/exposure values, detection limits, minimum volume and time. You’ll also need to consider the equipment needed; the holding times and shipping requirements; and artifacts or possible contamination.

•Sampling method: Now, it’s time to select your sampling method—whether it’s parameter, canisters or bags. You may choose to use grab sampling, which is instantaneous; short-term worker exposure sampling; worker exposure/area monitoring or time-integrated sampling; community sampling; IAQ studies; or ambient, odor or IAQ studies.

 After highlighting the benefits of the various sampling methods, Christine encouraged her participants to test their knowledge with case studies. The group then discussed lessons learned and preventative actions they could take to prevent contamination during sampling. If you’re interested in learning more about whole air sampling from Christine or the CTEH industrial hygiene team, please visit