Science Inventory

Collection of Surface Samples Potentially Contaminated with Microbiological Agents Using Swabs, Sponge Sticks and Wipes

Citation:

Silvestri, E., Y. Chambers-Velarde, J. Chandler, J. Cuddeback, W. Calfee, J. Archer, AND S. Shah. Collection of Surface Samples Potentially Contaminated with Microbiological Agents Using Swabs, Sponge Sticks and Wipes. U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development, Washington, DC, 2021.

Impact/Purpose:

When an environmental catastrophe resulting in contamination occurs, whether from intentional incident such as a terrorist attack or an unintentional incident such as an industrial spill, emergency responders and decision-makers need timely and accurate data. This need for data can require the collection and analysis of numerous samples to determine the extent of contamination and to make informed decisions regarding remediation. Sample collection procedures are used during site characterization, remediation and release in support of EPA’s post-incident responsibilities. The procedures provide instructions regarding the collection of samples from indoor/outdoor environmental, building, and infrastructure materials that will be analyzed for contaminants using the methods provided in the Selected Analytical Methods for Environmental Remediation and Recovery (SAM). This document provides step-by-step instructions for using sponge-sticks, wipes, and swabs to collect samples from surfaces potentially contaminated with microbiological agents. It is intended to be used in conjunction with the analytical methods listed in SAM. This document provides information on the materials and equipment needed for sample collection and the assembly of sampling kits; step-by-step instructions for taking field and quality control (QC) samples; and information on sample packaging, storage, and transport. Use of the procedure by EPA, or EPA contracted sample collectors, will ensure that quality samples are collected to support laboratory analysis.

Description:

This document provides step-by-step instructions for the use of swabs, wipes, and sponge-sticks to collect samples from surfaces potentially contaminated with microbiological agents. It is intended to be used in conjunction with the analytical methods listed in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Selected Analytical Methods for Environmental Remediation and Recovery (SAM)2017 (EPA/600/R-17/356) document and in the Environmental Sampling and Analysis Method Program online query tools for SAM, following homeland security-related contamination incidents.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT ( PUBLISHED REPORT/ METHODOLOGY)
Product Published Date: 05/28/2021
Record Last Revised: 07/07/2021
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 352038