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Preparation of polyethylene sacks for collection of precipitation samples for chemical analysis

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4067

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Abstract

Polyethylene sacks are used to collect precipitation samples. Washing polyethylene with acetone, hexane, methanol, or nitric acid can change the adsorptive characteristics of the polyethylene. In this study, simulated precipitation at pH 4.5 was in contact with the polyethylene sacks for 21 days; subsamples were removed for chemical analysis at 7, 14, and 21 days after intitial contact. Sacks washed with acetone adsorbed iron and lithium; sacks washed with hexane adsorbed barium, iron , and lithium; sacks washed with methanol adsorbed calcium and iron; and sacks washed with 0.30 N nitric acid adsorbed iron. Leaching the plastic sacks with 0.15 N nitric acid did not result in 100-percent recovery of any of the adsorbed metals. Washing polyethylene sacks with dilute nitric acid caused the pH of the simulated precipitation to be decreased by 0.2 pH unit after 1 week of contact with the polyethylene. The specific conductance increased by 10 microsiemens per centimeter. Contamination of precipitation samples by lead was determined to be about 0.1 microgram per liter from contact with precleaned polyethylene sacks. No measurable contamination of precipitation samples by zinc occurred. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Preparation of polyethylene sacks for collection of precipitation samples for chemical analysis
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
85-4067
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1985
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
iii, 12 p. ;28 cm.