Sampling and Monitoring for Workplace Gases, Vapour, Dust and Fumes

SWE has years of experience with occupational hygiene and environmental sampling and assessment for a range of dusts, fumes, vapours and gases.

Metal dust and fumes, solvents, VOCs, SVOCs, PAHs, silica, wood dust are some airborne contaminants that we can sample for both as occupational hygiene sampling and environmental monitoring.

Employers have a duty of care to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of their employees, contractors and the public. In order to ensure that hazardous substances and chemicals used as part of the workplace processes and plant, the accurate measurement of these potential airborne pollutants can be carryied out to establish whether furhter control of the substances must be implemented to ensure legislative compliance and to protect the workers health and safety. Occuaptional hygiene sampling for hazardous substances such as gases, vapours, dusts and fumes can assist management in making the correct descions in terms of the implementation of suitable control measures where needed.


Sampling for chemical hazards present in the workplace or environmental atmosphere can be carried out by applying a range of different sampling methodologies and equipment. The general principal of the sampling is to use a sampling medium such as a membrane filter or an abosorbent material such as charcoal in a glass tubing to trap the subject contaminant for confirmatory analysis in the laboroatory. Air monitoring pumps can be used to obtained a specific or desired volume of air suspected to contain the atmospheric contaminant. The laboratory then analysis the samples for the target contaminant or range of different contaminants by applying different analytical strategies such as gravimetric analysis, volumetric analysis, microscopic analysis, gas chromatography, atomic absorbtion analysis and other. The laboratory will then provide a NATA certificate of analysis for the analysis providing a quantity in weight or other for the sampled contaminant. The airborne concentration of the chemical, whether it is a gas, vapour, fume or dust can then be calculation using the known volume of air sampled or passed over the sampling medium to collect the sample.

The results of the sampling are typically compared against what is called an exposure standard for the specific airborne contaminant. The expousre standard is a guideline for what what exposure is safe for most workers over a typical 40 hour work week (known as time weighted average or TWA) or where more appropriate for shorter duration exposures known as short term exposure limits (STELs).


Environmental monitoring for atmospheric contaminants and also noise and vibration can also be carried out by SWE. The sampling for the environmental contaminants follows the same principals as the above described sampling, however got their own set of approved EPA methodolgies and equipment for the sampling. The sampling is typically carried out with equipment sampling higher volumes of air in order to detect the environmental pollutants at lower concentrations that for the workplace sampling. The enviromental pollutants are measured against environmental standards for acceptable levels for the specific contaminants which is typically much more stringent than workplace standards as the potential exposure the the pollutant is constant and may also affecet children and elderly. The sampling for environmental contamiants and noise is often carryied out before, during and after development and road projects in order to manage the release and also to prove compliance with legislation, DA conditions and EPA license where applicable.

We can Sample, Monitor and Assess for the following Gas, Vapour, Fume and Dusts in the Workplace and Public Environment

  • Inhalable dust and Respirable dust
  • Crystalline Silica (Quartz)
  • Lead dust, metal dust and fumes, soldering dust and fumes, silica quartz, inhalable and respirable dust, welding fumes, SMF, solvents, volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde, polycyclic hydrocarbons, chlorine, asbestos fibres, isocyanates, acids, petroleum hydrocarbons, and other airborne chemicals.

Related Service
Occupational and Environmental Noise and Vibration Sampling and Assessment