EPA Method 311

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EPA Method 311:
Analysis of Hazardous Air Pollutant Compounds in Paints and Coatings by Direct Injection into a Gas Chromatograph

Whole coating is added to dimethylformamide and a suitable internal standard compound is added. An aliquot of the sample mixture is injected onto a chromatographic column containing a stationary phase that separates the analytes from each other and from other volatile compounds contained in the sample. The concentrations of the analytes are determined by comparing the detector responses for the sample to the responses obtained using known concentrations of the analytes.

This method is applicable for determination of most compounds designated by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency as volatile hazardous air pollutants (HAP's) (See Reference 1) that are contained in paints and coatings. Styrene, ethyl acrylate, and methyl methacrylate can be measured by ASTM D 4827-93 or ASTM D 4747-87. Formaldehyde can be measured by ASTM PS 9-94 or ASTM D 1979-91. Toluene diisocyanate can be measured in urethane prepolymers by ASTM D 3432-89. Method 311 applies only to those volatile HAP's which are added to the coating when it is manufactured, not to those which may form as the coating cures (reaction products or cure volatiles). A separate or modified test procedure must be used to measure these reaction products or cure volatiles in order to determine the total volatile HAP emissions from a coating. Cure volatiles are a significant component of the total HAP content of some coatings. The term "coating" used in this method shall be understood to mean paints and coatings.