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Environmental Sample Preparation in California Laboratories


After this year's Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening Conference (SLAS), we visited a couple of customers in the golden state. A common thread between both of the laboratories we visited is that they complete EPA method 8270, which utilizes gas chromatography / mass spectrometry to detect semi-volatile organic compounds.

One interesting element of this application is the variety of sample types which can be analyzed utilizing this method: air, soil, water, and solid waste samples. Additionally, this method is also included in the EPA's Selected Analytical Methods for Environmental Remediation and Recovery

Both of these environmental labs rely on Organomation sample preparation instrumentation due to the equipment being referenced by name in EPA testing procedures. Generally speaking, the EPA develops and approves tests for measuring certain pollutants. Typically, the goal is to determine the level of concentration within a specific sample. Our staff strives to stay up to date by hosting a list of the most popular standardized methods on Organomation.com.

During one of the visits, we were able to learn more about UCMR 5 certification which is becoming newsworthy due to increasing concern related to Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS). These compounds, sometimes referred to as "forever chemicals", have widely entered our environment. For example, drinking water with a high concentration of these chemicals, or eating fish who have ingested these toxins, could have negative health consequences. 

The EPA's Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) focuses on analyzing the level of contamination in the United States' drinking water. This particular customer went through the EPA's thorough process to become an approved UCMR 5 laboratory for EPA methods 533 and 537.1. This year, large public water systems are required to work with a laboratory approved by the EPA for UCMR 5.

We take great pride in partnering with the environmental service companies who rely on our nitrogen evaporation and solvent extraction devices. Improper sample preparation can be one of the main causes of inaccurate laboratory results. Our equipment being included in applications drafted and validated by regulatory authorities, and being utilized by labs meeting the highest testing standards, is a meaningful set of approval.


Photo: <a href="https://www.vecteezy.com/free-photos">Free Stock photos by Vecteezy</a>


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