Derivation of flow rate and calibration method for high-volume air samplers
Sampling the atmosphere to analyze contaminants is different from other environmental matrices because measuring the volume of air collected requires a mechanical flow-through device to draw the air and measure its flow rate. The device used must have the capability of concentrating the analytes of interest onto a different substrate because the volumes of air needed are often on the order of hundreds of cubic meters. The use of high-volume air samplers has grown since 1967, when recommended limits of a large number of organic contaminants in air were developed. Equations used for calculating the air flow through the device over time have similarly been developed. However, the complete derivation of those equations has never appeared in the scientific literature. Here a thorough derivation of those equations is provided with definitions of the mechanical systems that are used in the process, along with the method of calibrating and calculating air flow.