Method 9310

Gross Alpha and Gross Beta

This method is for the determination of gross alpha and gross beta particle activities in surface and ground waters.  The method is applicable to the measurement of alpha emitters having energies above 3.9 mega electron volts (MeV) and beta emitters having maximum energies above 0.1 MeV.

An aliquot of a preserved water sample is evaporated to a small volume and transferred quantitatively to a tared 2-in. stainless steel counting planchet.  The sample residue is dried to constant weight, reweighed to determine dry residue weight, and then counted for alpha and/or beta radioactivity.

The radioactivity of the sample is not separated from the solids of the sample so the solids concentration is a limiting factor in the sensitivity of the method.  For samples with very low concentrations of radioactivity, it is essential to analyze as large a sample aliquot as is needed to give reasonable times.

(EPA SW-846)


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Method Data

Hold Times, Preservatives, Preps, Collection, Analytical & Documentation
Holding Time:   5 days from sample collection to analysis if unpreserved and held in the original container for a minimum of 16 hours before analysis or transfer of the sample. None specified for preserved samples.
Preservatives:   Add 1 N nitric acid (15mL 1N HNO3 per L of sample) to the sample to bring it to a pH 2 at the time of collection.
Required Preps:   250mL Glass or plastic bottle with Teflon-lined lid
Collection Method:   Grab sampling
Analytical Methodology:   Gas-flow proportional counting system, or Scintillation detection system, or Stainless steel counting planchets.
Documentation:   9310

Analyte List*

Analyte Formula CAS Number Detection Limit
Alpha Particles
Beta Particles

* The analytes and detection limits listed for each method represent the typical detection limits and analytes reported for that particular method. Keep in mind that analyte lists may vary from laboratory to laboratory. Detection limits may also vary from lab to lab and are dependent upon the sample size, matrix, and any interferences that may be present in the sample.