Passive sampling method has been proposed for monitoring contaminants in drinking water, ground water, industrial waste water and air.
Environmental contamination and toxic effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals have been an emerging environmental issue and deserve considerable attention. Monitoring of these substances in water is associated with a number of problems, such as their presence in both solid and dissolved phase and temporal variation. In addition extremely low concentration level of POPs requires the processing of large volumes of sample to achieve the desired detection limits.
Passive sampling is becoming more popular method of monitoring, which brings a number of advantages compared with conventional active water sampling. Unlike dynamic samplers, passive samplers do not need source of electrical energy during the exposure, they are silent and cheaper. However the main advantage of passive samplers is time-integrated measurement provides information about the long-term concentration of contaminants in the environment (passive samplers are less sensitive to random fluctuations significant pollutant concentrations). Additional benefits are passive sampling reproducibility, robustness, low cost equipment and operating costs.
Nowadays passive samplers are used mainly for screening studies, but they are increasingly becoming a common part of routine application for monitoring programs and environmental industry components.