Contamination Check Sampling Protocol

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A swipe sample is basically a moistened fiber filter that is wiped across the surface(s) to be tested.  The best filter material is quartz fiber filters rather than glass so we can combust at a higher temperature and liberate as much carbon as possible.  The preferred filter is  25 millimeter diameter Pallflex Tissuquartz but other filters can be used. Supplier: Pall Life Sciences, 2.5cm diameter, PALL number 7200.  You'll need laboratory gloves ( that fit tightly),  HPLC grade or better isopropyl alcohol  and 1 dram screw-cap vials or other suitable container. 

Label the vials and mark with the date swiped.  Please take replicate swipes if possible in case we encounter failures - the salt on ships for instance often eats through the quartz combustion tubes.  Wear disposable gloves and change them after each swipe to avoid transferring contamination to the next swipe.

With gloved hands, moisten a filter with isopropanol. Gently rub the filter over the area to be swiped being careful to avoid breaking up the  filter if possible. Roll the wet filter between your gloved forefinger and thumb and place it in a clean glass container labeled with the name or location(s) of the object swiped and the date. We will dry and then pack the rolled filter into a 9 mm combustion tube. Place glass vials or containers each in a separate plastic bag (in case of breakage during shipping.)

Tightly fitting gloves help you roll the moist filter between your thumb and forefinger after swiping so that it dries in a rolled shape.  This helps us pack it into a combustion tube later.  If you've ever tried to pack flat baked quartz into a tube you'll know why this is desirable.

To submit please enter the information through the NOSAMS Web Portal.

There is a comments section under Processing Questions and we ask that you please use it to describe the potential risk or level of contamination that you think the swipes may pose so we can best decide how to handle the analysis. We need you to give us the history or anything you know about the locations sampled.

In the Excel spreadsheet choose 'pre-treated OC' as the sample composition and 'other' as the sample type - you can use the description field to type in 'swipe on QFF' or 'swipe on GFF' but please indicate what type of filter is submitted. 

When completed send swipe samples to the following address to help us keep these separate from the regular sample stream.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
NOSAMS Facility
Attn:  K. Elder
266 Woods Hole Rd., MS #8
Woods Hole, MA  02536  

Last updated: October 26, 2016