Frequently Asked Questions
What are the advantages of using the
The ACS Monitoring Badge is the most efficient way to
measure workplace exposure to chemicals, and indoor air
quality. More than 25 years of experience confirms that
this is the lowest cost method to obtain accurate
Why should I monitor my house/mobile
Materials used in the construction of manufactured
homes are known to add toxic chemicals into the air.
Household coatings and sprays are a second source of
chemicals in the air. Tearing of the eyes, scratchy
throat, and respiratory problems are associated with
formaldehyde vapor. Other common solvents may also
produce long-term health effects.
How does the ACS Badge work?
There are no moving parts. The device weighs less than
1 ounce (28 grams). Air diffuses through a micro-porous
membrane, and collects on special prepared adsorbents
inside the monitoring badge. The ACS laboratory analyzes
the chemicals collected, and reports the average
concentration while the device was exposed.
How fast can I get my results
Test results are generally available by fax or e-mail
within 48-hours. An original report is sent by mail.
I need my results fast. Is there an
additional charge for rush analysis?
Results can almost always be done in one day. There is
no extra charge for this rapid service.
What type of chemicals can be
measured with badge?
Almost any chemical that has a significant amount of
vapor can be tested with the monitoring badges. The ACS
Badge has been validated for accuracy for more than 100
chemicals. Consult the list in the product catalog.
Can I monitor multiple chemicals on
Yes. For many common organic vapors the same badge can
be used to measure more than 70 chemicals simultaneously.
For some chemicals special badges are needed. The latter
include formaldehyde, mercury, ethylene oxide, ammonia,
and nitrogen oxides. Consult the laboratory for
For workplace measurement, how long
should I wear the badge?
Occupational exposure regulations are based on
short-term exposure of 15 minutes, and also on full
workday exposure of 8-hours. The ACS badge meets OSHA
accuracy requirements for a time period from 15 minutes
to more than 8-hours.
How long should I place the badge in
For indoor air quality testing, the most practical
range of exposure is from 8-hours to 48-hours. The longer
the time, the lower is the concentration that can be
reported. The optimum exposure time is 24-hours.
How many do I need?
To comply with OSHA requirements for workplace
testing, each person who is exposed to the chemical as a
regular part of their job should be tested. The
monitoring must includes a 15-minute test (STEL) and the
8-hour test (PEL).
For indoor air quality, one monitoring badge is
sufficient for several hundred square feet. With central
heating and cooling, the air recirculation often makes
the concentration uniform over a larger area.
Can you help me understand the
The analysis report will always have a discussion of
the significance of the results. The ACS technical staff
is always available for additional consultation at no
How often should I monitor?
For workplace exposure there must be initial employee
monitoring and periodic monitoring. The interval for the
periodic monitoring depends on particular situations. For
example, OSHA and JCAHO have different policies.
Monitoring each calendar quarter is a reasonable
approach. Additional tests are needed when procedures or
equipment are changed, or when the results are high.
After the initial test in the home, additional tests
should be done when there is remodeling, or the addition
of new wood products or coatings.
Can you analyze chemicals that are
not mentioned on the product list?
Many chemicals have similar structures and properties.
They can usually be analyzed. Please consult the ACS
Are you required to monitor all the chemicals?
For personal exposure in the workplace, monitoring
should be done for all chemicals that have OSHA exposure
limits. For some chemicals, such as formaldehyde,
ethylene oxide, benzene, and vinyl chloride, the personal
exposure monitoring requirements are more stringent.
Every person who is exposed as a regular part of their
job should be tested.
What should I do if the results are high?
Corrective action is needed. This usually includes a
change in work procedure and improved ventilation.
Additional testing is required until it is clear that the
exposure can be kept low. When two tests are low, after a
high exposure, normal conditions have returned. If the
exposure cannot be kept low, protective equipment and
biological monitoring are often needed.
Do you keep all records?
Accredited laboratories must keep records for at least
5 years. The ACS laboratory has maintained all records
for a much longer period. All records are held in strict
confidence, and are easily available when bona fide
requests are made.
What type of accreditation do you have?
Advanced Chemical Sensors Co. is accredited by The
American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) for
industrial hygiene testing, and by The New York State
Department of Health (ELAP). The laboratory conforms to
ISO Standard 17025. There are strict written quality
assurance procedures that are reviewed on site by the
How Accurate are the test results?
For test results to be accepted for laboratory
accreditation they must have an overall accuracy better
than 25%. The ACS badge generally has accuracy in the
range from 15% to 20%, depending on the particular
chemical, and the exposure time.
Are the results accepted by OSHA or Joint Commission?
Results from an AIHA accredited laboratory will be
accepted in any inspection of facilities. The results
have also been accepted as valid in disputes, and in
Can the results be used for a legal purpose?
The results can be used in legal disputes, because of
the laboratory accreditation and strict quality assurance
associated with each test. The test results are valid
I lost my reports. Can you fax or e-mail a copy?
Past results are available immediately by fax or
e-mail. Copies can also be reprinted and sent by regular
Can I get results at your web site?
Arrangements can be made to post results on a secure
web site as the analysis is completed, and to maintain
Can you help me set up a monitoring
program at my workplace?
The ACS technical staff can make recommendations for a
cost effective program for personal exposure monitoring
in the workplace.
Do you ship internationally?
The ACS monitoring badge is used in many locations in
almost every continent. Shipment by air cargo usually
takes only a few days to be received. There are no
problems in returning the exposed monitoring badges for
analysis. Results are sent by fax or e-mail, with an
original report that follows by regular mail.
Do I need to send a "Blank" badge?
A "Blank" badge is an
unexposed monitoring badge used for quality assurance
testing. A laboratory Blank, stored at the ACS
laboratory, is always used as part of the quality
assurance procedures. Therefore, a field Blank is not
necessary. It should be used when there is a special need
to have an unexposed sample with exactly the same history
as the exposed field samples.
My result is very high. Could there
be an error in your lab?
The quality assurance (QA) testing includes a
calibration curve, "spikes" of monitoring
badges with known amounts of each chemical, testing of
unexposed "Blank" badges,
and other tests. The quality assurance tests must conform
to strict statistical limits before client samples can be
tested. The QA data is available. Errors are very
unlikely, but they can occur. The client should notify
the laboratory if an error is suspected. The ACS staff
will work with the client to resolve any possible
Is the reported ppm based on a TWA?
The concentration (ppm or mg/cubic meter) on the
laboratory report is the time-weighted average
concentration for the actual exposure time that was used.
It is not based on an 8 hour period, unless the actual
exposure time is 8 hours. There are exceptions to this,
when the client requests the results for an 8 hour TWA
period, or when it will add to the clarity of the report,
as described below.
What do "Basis
8.00 hours" or "Basis 0.25 hours" mean?
The 8 hour time-weighted average (TWA) and the 15
minute average will be given on the report when these are
the actual exposure times. It will also be given when it
adds to the clarity of the report. For example, assume
that the permissible exposure limit is 1.0 ppm as an 8
hour TWA, and the result for an actual exposure of 4
hours is 1.4 ppm. Then the 8 hour TWA will also be given.
The reason is that 1.4 ppm is above the exposure limit of
1.0 ppm. However, the limit is based on 8 hours. The 8
hour TWA shows that the exposure limit is not exceeded,
assuming no additional exposure after the actual time of
4 hours. The report will give the actual result for 4
hours (1.4 ppm). It will also say :
"Basis 8 hours 0.7 ppm."
How do you calculate the
concentration in ppm?
The laboratory measures the milligrams (mg) of each
chemical collected during the exposure of the monitoring
badge. The collection rate for each chemical
(milliliters/minute) is known from actual calibration
tests. When the user provides the exposure time (hours or
minutes), then it is a simple algebraic calculation to
give the concentration in milligrams/cubic meter. The ppm
is directly related to the milligrams/cubic meter for