Your personal safety and the safety of your team is paramount when it comes to working in a laboratory. It’s not always obvious what’s in the air around you, especially when working with equipment and chemicals, the air can become contaminated with gases and vapours. This can be harmful when you are working in these environments, inhaling the contaminated air for long hours.

Airborne hazards from gases, vapours, dusts and fibres can all cause potentially life-threatening illnesses that can affect the lungs, kidneys and liver. According to HSE statistics 12,000 lung disease deaths each year are estimated to be linked to past exposures at work. (Health and safety at work Summary statistics for Great Britain 2022).

Sampling personal or area air quality for the specific contaminant and exposure levels is important to determine the appropriate respirator and cartridge for your work environment. By consistently measuring the concentration of airborne contaminants, you can make the correct steps to reduce workers’ exposure and thereby help prevent chronic respiratory diseases.

Therefore, it is important that your laboratory managers employ Respiratory Protection Programmes, that comply with HSE standards and monitor exposure levels within the defined Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs). The programme should highlight what substances are being monitored, who you want to know the exposure levels for, the number of samples taken and when and how often will samples be taken.

This can be carried out with the use of air quality monitors to learn how safe the air is you are inhaling.  Air monitoring badges are the perfect example of an easy-to use system that allows you to monitor your own personal surroundings.



Vaportest Badges are lightweight air monitoring badges that are easy to attach and can be worn on your lab coat during your shift. They are made from a plastic housing that contains a permeable, absorbent membrane which collects a sample of contaminants through the scientific principle of diffusion. Our badges test for either Formaldehyde, Xylene, Ethylene Oxide and THG, MIBK and MEK.


Organic Vapour Vaportest Badge for Xylene

Organic Vapour Passive Vaportest Badge uses a single charcoal sorbent wafer for easy collection of organic vapours with analysis by gas chromatography. These badges are ideal for wearing during the use of Xylene.

Sample time is validated for 15 minutes and 8-hour occupational exposure sampling. Lab and field studies conducted with several compounds show suitability for 24-hour air sampling.

  • Exceed OSHA requirements with ± 25% accuracy
  • Storage of ≤39.2 f (4 °c) before and after use, and analysis within three weeks of use
  • Shelf life of 2 years from date of manufacture
  • No batteries, pumps or equipment needed to calibrate
  • Sampling rates for over 300 compounds
  • Validated for 15-min to 8-hr occupational exposure sampling
  • Organic Vapour Passive Vaportest Badge have been validated to the rigorous ANSI testing protocols

Formaldehyde Passive Vaportest Badge

Constructed of tough polypropylene housing, Formaldehyde Passive Vaportest Badge contains a tape treated with 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine (DNPH) for reliable collection of Formaldehyde. The single-use badge monitors personnel and work areas in healthcare and laboratories as well as chemical, pulp/paper, foundry and textiles industries.

The Formaldehyde Passive Vaportest Badge has a green sliding cover that opens and closes easily to start and stop sampling. Due to its relatively high sampling rate and sensitive analysis, this badge can be used for 15-minute (STEL) sampling in the ppm range, for up to 8 hours for personal monitoring, and 24-hour to 7-day for static monitoring of contaminants found in indoor environments.

  • Accurate and reliable for formaldehyde collection exceeding OSHA standards
  • Accuracy exceeds OSHA standards
  • Conforms to EU ISO 160000-4-2004
  • Highly sensitive and specific analysis method
  • Versatile sampler – suitable for both workplace sampling and long-term indoor air sampling
  • 29 µg/sample

Vaportest Ethylene Oxide Passive Badge

Ethylene oxide is widely used to sterilise medical equipment and supplies. Exposure health effects can range from respiratory irritation to cancer and reproductive/mutagenic effects.

Vaportest Ethylene Oxide Passive Badge samplers are fully validated to ANSI/ISEA 104-1998 Standard and use the same sorbent as active OSHA Method 1010 to collect Ethylene Oxide.  Each sampler contains Anasorb 747 coated with Hydrobromic acid (500mg) and can be validated up 8-hours at a 0.1 to 4ppm range.

The Vaportest Ethylene Oxide Badges are ideal for all hospitals, veterinary clinics and sterile instrument manufacturers.

  • No batteries, pumps or equipment needed to calibrate
  • Meet ASTM D6246-08 and ANSI/ISEA 104-1998 (r 2009) standards
  • Shelf life of 18 months from date of manufacture
  • Samplers contain >300 mg of sorbent — much more than other brands
  • Sampling flexibility – validated for short-term and 8-hour sampling
  • Storage of ≤39.2 f (4 °c) before and after use, and analysis within three weeks of use

Vaportest THG, MIBK and MEK Badges

The THG, MIBK and MEK Vaportest Badge for chemical hazards Methyl ethyl ketone, Methyl isobutyl ketone and Tetrahydrogestrinone meets OSHA/ASTM/ANSI requirements. The badges identify as a viable alternative to active sampling in OSHA 16 (MEK) method and Passive method OSHA 1004.

Each sampler contains Anasorb 747, 500 mg and can be validated for 15-min and 8-hr occupational sampling. Lab and field studies conducted with several compounds show suitability for 24-hr air sampling.

  • Samplers contain >300 mg of sorbent — much more than other brands
  • No batteries, pumps or equipment needed to calibrate
  • Shelf life of 2 years from date of manufacture
  • Suitability for 24-hour air sampling
  • Storage at ambient temperature or ≤39.2 f (4 °c). Must be brought to ambient temperature before sampling


Testing and Analysis

In order to really understand the gases and vapours you are exposed to within the lab, you must send your badges, with the sampler inside, to be analysed by a certified lab. Included with our Vaportest badges, we supply a full analysis service. All of our tests are UKAS certified and completed within 10 days of mailing. We provide a full report of test results sent via email, which will allow you to put in place the correct processes, and wear the right equipment to protect you are your team within the lab.

For more information, speak to a member of our team at or call  +44 (0) 844 8080 900.