Air is sampled at a rate in excess of 100 L/min, preferably at 200-300 L/min, so as to collect therefrom a substantial fraction, i.e., at least 20%, preferably 60-100%, of airborne particulates. A substance of interest (analyte), such as lead, is rapidly solubilized from the the collected particulates into a sample of liquid extractant, and the concentration of the analyte in the extractant sample is determined. The high-rate air sampling and particulate collection may be effected with a high-throughput filter cartridge or with a recently developed portable high-throughput liquid-absorption air sampler. Rapid solubilization of lead is achieved by a liquid extractant comprising 0.1-1 M of acetic acid or acetate, preferably at a pH of 5 or less and preferably with inclusion of 1-10% of hydrogen peroxide. Rapid determination of the lead content in the liquid extractant may be effected with a colorimetric or an electroanalytical analyzer.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The U.S. Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-31-109-ENG-38 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of Chicago representing Argonne National Laboratory.