Sonicators for ASTM E1979-21 Lead Extraction

ASTM E1979 describes the standard practice for ultrasonic extraction of paint, dust, soil, and air samples for subsequent determination of lead. Ultrasonic extraction is a main sample preparation step to make lead contamination available for subsequent analysis.

Ultrasonic Extraction of Lead from Samples According to ASTM E1979

Ultrasonic extraction of metals from samples plays a crucial role in elemental analysis, particularly in the context of assessing various metal species in samples of interest within the fields of environmental and occupational health. Ultrasonic extraction is a highly efficient technique in the elemental analysis of metal species in samples relevant to environmental and occupational health. Due to numerous advantages, a probe-type sonicator is the implemented tool for lead extraction from samples specimens in the ASTM E1979 protocol.

Scope of ASTM E1979: This procedure encompasses the use of ultrasonic extraction for the purpose of isolating lead from environmental samples relevant to lead abatement and renovation work, primarily for analytical purposes. The environmental matrices of interest include dry paint films, settled dusts, soils, and airborne particulates.

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The ASTM-E1979 protocol involves lead extraction from samples prior to analysis via atomic spectrometry

Sample preparation according to ASTM E1979 using the probe-type sonicator UP100H

Significance & Application of ASTM E1979: Ultrasonic extraction, employing dilute nitric acid, presents a more straightforward and convenient approach for extracting lead from environmental samples in comparison to conventional digestion methods that involve the use of hot plates or microwave digestion with concentrated acids. Consequently, ultrasonic extraction offers a viable alternative to the more demanding techniques involving strong acids and high temperatures, as long as its performance aligns with established criteria. This method proves particularly advantageous in scenarios where lead analysis is imperative in the context of lead abatement and related activities.

How to Prepare Samples in accordance to ASTM E1979 using a Sonicator

The ASTM E1979-21 standard outlines the sample preparation procedure for ultrasonic extraction of paint, dust, soil, and air samples for the subsequent determination of lead. Below, we show you the main sample preparation steps according to ASTM E1979 standards:

  1. Selection and Collection of Samples: Begin by selecting representative samples of paint, dust, soil, or air, depending on the scope of your analysis. Ensure that the sampling is performed following the ASTM standards for sample collection for the specific matrix (paint, dust, soil, or air).
  2. Sample Handling and Preservation: Handle the collected samples with care to prevent contamination. If necessary, preserve the samples according to ASTM standards to maintain the integrity of the analyte (lead) during storage.
  3. Homogenization (if required): If the collected sample is not homogeneous (e.g., soil), homogenize it to ensure representative subsamples. This may involve using a clean mortar and pestle or other appropriate equipment to break down clumps and ensure a uniform distribution of analyte.
  4. Weighing and Subsampling: Weigh the appropriate amount of the sample for analysis. The amount will depend on the specific analytical method and the expected lead concentration. If the sample is too large for the analysis, subsample it to obtain a representative portion.
  5. Sample Labeling: Label each sample container with a unique identifier, including sample source, collection date, and any other relevant information.
  6. Determination of Sample Matrix: Characterize the sample matrix to assess its nature and composition. Understanding the matrix is crucial for selecting the appropriate extraction solvent and conditions.
  7. Selection of Extraction Solvent: Choose an extraction solvent suitable for the sample matrix and the analysis of lead. The solvent should effectively dissolve lead while minimizing interference from the sample matrix. Commonly used solvents for lead extraction include nitric acid (HNO3) and hydrochloric acid (HCl).
  8. Sample Preparation for Ultrasonic Extraction: Place the weighed or subsampled portion of the sample into an appropriate extraction vessel. The vessel should be made of a material that is compatible with the selected extraction solvent (e.g., glass or inert plastics).
  9. Addition of Extraction Solvent: Add the selected extraction solvent to the sample in the extraction vessel. The volume of solvent should be sufficient to cover and immerse the sample completely.
  10. Vessel Sealing: Seal the extraction vessel securely to prevent the escape of solvent or analytes during ultrasonic extraction. Ensure that the sealing method does not introduce contamination.
  11. Sample Identification: Clearly label the extraction vessel with the sample identifier and the type of solvent used.
  12. Pre-Ultrasonic Extraction Checks: Ensure that the extraction vessel is in good condition and properly sealed. Verify that the probe-type sonicator, is set up and calibrated according to manufacturer guidelines.
  13. Store Samples and Solvent: If necessary, store the samples and solvent in appropriate conditions (e.g., temperature and light) to maintain sample integrity.


This sample preparation protocol describes the critical first step of pre-analytical sample preparation in the ASTM E1979-21 procedure, ensuring that the collected samples are properly handled and prepared for subsequent ultrasonic extraction of lead. The specific details may vary depending on the nature of the sample and the requirements of your analysis, so always refer to the full ASTM E1979-21 standard for comprehensive guidance tailored to your needs.

This video clip shows the Hielscher ultrasonic homogenizer UP100H, an ultrasonicator widely used for sample preparation in laboratories.

Ultraschall-Homogenisator UP100H



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Sonicators for Pre-Analytical Sample Extraction

Probe-type sonicators as the UP50H are used to extract metals such as lead from samples before analysis.Hielscher Ultrasonics is your trusted partner for excellent probe-type sonicators at any scale. Hielscher Ultrasonics lab and industrial equipment is recognized worldwide for outstanding quality, reliability and robustness. Therefore, Hielscher sonicators are well-estblished in the elemental analysis of metal species in samples relevant to environmental and occupational health and is suitable for sample preparation according to ASTM E 1979. With Hielscher ultrasonic extractors you can enhance extraction efficiency, improve accuracy, reduce chemical usage, expedite sample preparation, and minimize matrix interference. This makes our probe-type sonicators an indispensable tool for obtaining reliable data in the analytic of environmental and chemical samples. The comparison with acid leaching without sonication highlights the clear advantages of ultrasonic extraction in achieving higher elemental recoveries.

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The table below gives you an indication of the approximate processing capacity of our lab-size probe-type sonicators suitable for pre-analytical extraction of metals according to ASTM E1979:

Empfohlenes UltraschallgerätBatch-VolumenDurchfluss
UP50H0.5 to 250mL5 bis 100 ml/min
UP100H1 bis 500ml10 bis 200ml/min
UP200Ht, UP200St10 bis 1000mL20 bis 200mL/min
UP400St10 bis 2000ml20 bis 400ml/min

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Ultrasonic probe-type sonicators are the extraction method used for lead extraction from soil, dust and paint samples according to ASTM E1979 standards

Ultrasonic probe-type sonicators are the extraction method used for lead extraction from soil, dust and paint samples according to ASTM E1979

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