Tedlar (polyvinyl fluoride) has been the material of choice for sampling bags used in the environmental and odor assessment fields; however, as of 2011, the material is being phased out of production for this application. ALS Columbia and St. Croix Sensory evaluated various potential
replacement film materials and bag construction configurations with the goal of finding the optimal combination that is well suited for both chemical odor analysis (e.g. ASTM D5504 reduced sulfur compound sampling, modified EPA TO-15 volatile organic compound sampling) as well as odor panel
evaluation (e.g. ASTM E679-04, ASTM E544-10, EN 13725:2003). Many factors contribute to the success of the bag including film type, size of the bag (surface area), valve stem type, bag shape/seam sealing, septum material, bag material permeability, and bag material off gassing/adsorption. Preliminary
results confirm published data that Tedlar sample bags contain several artifacts (e.g. phenol and/or N,N-dimethylacetamide) which may affect both chemical analysis and odor analysis. Therefore, Tedlar material for sample bags is not necessarily the ‘Gold Standard’ for sample bag
material. Pros and cons of each of the material types and configurations that were tested are presented in this paper, as well as recommendations for types of bags to use for different odor related sampling applications.
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