Advanced Photon Source

An Office of Science National User Facility

APS Protocols for Handling, Storage, and Disposal of Untreated Foreign Soil and Regulated Domestic Soil

Arrival of New Samples:

  1. Unpack shipping containers.Treat any ice/melted water immediately.Decontaminate any "blue ice" packets with 70% ethyl alcohol.
  2. Collect any loose soil from container and heat-treat immediately.
  3. Immediately decontaminate shipping containers.
    • Heat-treat wooden, metal, or cardboard shipping containers (using lowest heat).
    • Treat plastic containers and coolers with 70% ethyl alcohol.

Storage of Samples:

  1. Store dry samples in the locked storage cabinet in Room 431Z021 until they can be delivered to the appropriate beamline for analysis.Label containers with origin and arrival date.
  2. Log samples into the APS Soil Inventory book maintained in 431Z021.
  3. Untreated samples can be stored for up to 6 months from date of arrival.
  4. Samples delivered to the beamlines must be kept in locked storage at the beamline.Log the sample delivery to the beamline in the logbook.
Treatment of Water Effluent and Ice (Melted) Used for Shipping
  • Foreign and Domestic
    Boil for one minute.
  • Domestic Only
    Filter through 100 mesh sieve and heat-treat residues caught on sieve.
Alcohol Decontamination
  • Spray generously with 70% ethyl alcohol to the point of runoff.
  • Drain alcohol into sink and flush sink with water.
  • Air dry item being decontaminated.

Sample Handling:

  1. Collect all soil spilled on lab benches, equipment, stools, and the floor immediately and call an APS Soil Custodian to treat the materials.After collecting spilled soil, decontaminate fixed surfaces with 70% ethyl alcohol.
  2. Heat-treat all solid soil residues remaining after analysis that will be shipped as non-regulated soil using the oven in Room 431Z021.Heat treatment will be carried out by Shane Flood, or Wendy VanWingeren.
  3. Treat all water residues from analysis as described in the box above.
  4. Decontaminate all heat resistant materials and equipment used in the processing and analysis of soils (e.g. glassware, polypropylene bottles, aluminum weight boats, spatulas, kraft paper, etc.) according to the heat treatment schedule.Treat plastic bags and other non-heat-resistant materials with 70% alcohol.

Heat Treatment Procedures

Dry Heat Schedule

Steam Heat
Temperature (C) Exposure Timea
16 hours
30 minutes
4 minutes
2 minutes
121 C at 15 inches pressure for 30 minutes in packages <= 5 lbs or trays with soil residues < 2 inches deep
a Start counting time after entire mass reaches the required temperature.
Shipment of Untreated Samples to Other Laboratories for Anaylsis
  1. Obtain written permission from the local PPQ Office, and ship only to laboratories with a valid permit and compliance agreement for imported soil or a valid compliance agreement for domestic soil (see Bruce Glagola).
  2. Ship double-bagged in sealed containers according to the Soil Permit shipping requirements.
Disposal of Samples and Residues, or for Shipping as Non-regulated Soil
  1. After heat treatment, soil samples and solid soil residues may be disposed or shipped/returned to another laboratory in the same manner as unregulated domestic soil.
  2. After treatment of water residues, they can be disposed of in the same manner as residues from unregulated domestic soil.
APS Protocols for Sample Transport of Untreated Foreign Soil and Regulated Domestic Soil
  1. Double bag all samples (to reduce the chance of spillage if the primary container breaks) and place in sturdy leak-proof containers, such as insulated plastic coolers, for transport to Argonne National Laboratory (ANL).
  2. If samples are field moist, try to use "blue ice" instead of ice to keep samples cool during transport.
  3. Include a copy of the current APS USDA Soil Permit in the container.
  4. Seal containers with duct tape or similar tape to preclude spillage or pest escape during transit.
  5. Label containers as "Contents - Soil Samples" by attaching labels provided by PPQ.Ensure that the APS USDA Soil Permit Number (P330-09-00006) is included on the label.Users must contact the APS well ahead of time to receive labels from the APS.
  6. Address containers to:
    Bruce Glagola
    Bldg 431Z020
    Argonne National Laboratory
    9700 S. Cass Ave.
    Argonne, IL 60439
    United States
  7. If carrying samples through Customs, declare samples on the Customs form as "Soil".
  8. If shipping samples, they must be shipped by bonded carrier.The shipping bill must be manifested as "SOIL" and the APS Soil Permit Number provided.

Last Reviewed and Modified: March 23, 2017