Proficiency testing for organic solvents

Test gas stream

Zoom Image

Part of IFA's test gas stream
Source: IFA

Proficiency testing (PT) is offered alternatively with and without own sampling. Participants may choose whether they wish to perform sampling for organic solvents themselves at the dynamic test gas stream at the IFA, or to have loaded sample carriers supplied to them [1].

The concentrations to be measured depend on the occupational limit values of the solvents. They will lie within the range of 1/100 to two times the AGW1 value.

The PT scheme consists of three runs with different substances and different concentrations in the test gas. The test gas will contain up to ten different organic solvents.

Examples of substance selection – Proficiency testing for organic solvents

Substance group Substances
Alkanes [1] cyclohexane, n-decane, n-heptane, n-hexane, methylcyclohexane, n-nonane, n-octane
Alcohols 2-butanol, i-butanol, n-butanol, cyclohexanol, ethanol, 1-propanol, 2-propanol
Aromates [2] cumene, ethylbenzene, propylbenzene, toluene, 1,2,3-trimethylbenzene, 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene, 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene, o-/m-/p-xylene
Esters [3, 4] n-butyl acetate, i-butyl acetate, ethyl acetate, methyl acetate, methyl methacrylate, n-propyl acetate, i-propyl acetate
Ethers [4] 2-butoxyethanol, 2-butoxyethyl acetate, 1,4-dioxane, 2-methoxy-1-methylethyl acetate, 1-methoxy-2-propanol, tetrahydrofuran

The substances can be analysed by means of the analysis methods according to IFA Folder No. 7732 [2], 7733 [3], 7322 [4] resp. 7569 [5].

1 Proficiency testing with sampling

A large-scale dynamic test gas stream can be found at the IFA. It is suitable for parallel sampling by up to 25 participants.

  • When: 24 to 25 August 2021
  • Where:
    Institut für Arbeitsschutz der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung (IFA)
    Alte Heerstr. 111
    53757 Sankt Augustin
  • Concentration range: 1/100 to two times the AGW1 value.
  • Number of test series: 3
  • Duration per test series: 2 hours plus preparation time and run-in period.
  • Accomodations: Hotels at Sankt Augustin (PDF, 105 KB)

2 Proficiency testing without own sampling

Loading of the sample carriers for organic solvents is performed at the dynamic test gas stream of the IFA.

The participants can choose between two sample carriers:

  1. Activated charcoal tubes NIOSH (Prod. No. 64 00742) manufactured by Dräger
  2. Activated charcoal tubes TYPE B/BIA (Prod. No. 64 00744) manufactured by Dräger

On request we will send ten unopened tubes of the same production batch at the price of 30 Euro.

Each participant receives a sample kit comprising:

  • Three loaded sample carriers, and
  • Two unloaded sample carriers for blank value adjustment.

1 The German acronym AGW stands for Arbeitsplatzgrenzwert (Occupational Exposure Limit value – OEL). For carcinogenic substances and substances without AGW the database GESTIS - International limit values for chemical agents ( is used.


[1] Ringversuch Organische Lösemittel (Kennzahl 1630-1) In: IFA-Arbeitsmappe Messung von Gefahrstoffen.

[2] Kohlenwasserstoffe, aliphatisch (Kennzahl 7732). In: IFA-Arbeitsmappe Messung von Gefahrstoffen.

[3] Kohlenwasserstoffe, aromatisch (Kennzahl 7733). In: IFA-Arbeitsmappe Messung von Gefahrstoffen.

[4] Essigsäureester (Kennzahl 7322). In: IFA-Arbeitsmappe Messung von Gefahrstoffen.

[5] Glykolester, Glykolether, Methacrylsäuremethylester (Kennzahl 7569). In: IFA-Arbeitsmappe Messung von Gefahrstoffen.


Division 2: Chemical and biological hazards

Brigitte Maybaum
Krista Gusbeth
Franziska Nürnberger