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Parts per billion

Similar term(s): ppb.

Definition:

A weight to weight ratio used to describe concentrations. Parts per billion (ppb) is the number of units of mass of a contaminant per 1000 million units of total mass.

Also µg/L or micrograms per liter.

Source: GreenFacts

More:

ppb (or ppbm) is used to measure the concentration of a contaminant in soils and sediments. In that case 1 ppb equals 1 µg of substance per kg of solid (µg/kg).

ppb (or ppbm) is also sometimes used to describe small concentrations in water, in which case 1 ppb is equivalent to 1 µg/l because a liter of water weighs approximately a 1000 000 µg. This use of ppb tends to be phased out in favour of µg/l.

ppb (or ppbV) is often used to describe concentrations of contaminants in air (as a volume fraction). In this case the conversion of ppb to µg/m3 depends on the molecular weight of the contaminant.

For example, 1 ppb chlorine represents one part of chlorine in one thousand million parts of air by weight, which is 1.45 µg/m3.

The ppb unit is mainly used in North America.

Related words:

Concentration - Contaminant(s) - Environmental media

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