NIOSH has added a new method for monitoring workers’ exposure to toluene to the NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM), a collection of methods for the sampling and analysis of contaminants in workplace air, and in the blood and urine of workers who face on-the-job exposures. “Method 8007: Toluene in Blood” is available for download on NIOSH’s website. The PDF includes lists of equipment and reagents needed, as well as special precautions to take while performing the sampling and analysis work detailed in the method.
To date, NIOSH has developed and evaluated more than 300 methods that are included in NMAM. The agency recommends that the best available method be used for making each measurement, and recognizes that methods published by others (OSHA, MSHA, and EPA, for example) may have advantages over NIOSH methods, depending on the sampling situation. According to NIOSH, an industrial hygienist should determine the sampling protocol, taking analytical accuracy, cost, and optimum sampling number under consideration.