Lab Science News - Science, chemistry and environmental news from laboratory experts

Archive for May, 2010

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) in Shellfish

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) in Shellfish


Columbia Analytical Services, Inc. has extensive experience testing for low levels of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) in shellfish. Sensitive and selective techniques were developed over ten years ago and have been refined and improved on a continuing basis. In addition to the analysis for the common parent compounds, levels of the associated alkylated homologs can also be determined.

This analysis is typically performed using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) operated in the Selective Ion Monitoring (SIM) mode. Key to the analytical procedure is proper sample preparation, which begins with shucking, compositing (as appropriate to the project plan), and homogenization via mechanical mixing. The preliminary preparation must be performed under clean laboratory conditions to prevent common PAH contamination. Decontamination of sample preparation equipment is performed and monitored closely to assure clean conditions. The sample homogenate is a homogenous slurry when prepared correctly. The homogenization techniques performed by Columbia Analytical have been inspected and approved by various organizations (e.g. US EPA, other federal government and state regulatory agencies, private industries, consultants, etc.) The data results for these projects were subjected to thorough government, public and private scrutiny.

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EPA Considers New Approach to Drinking Water

Monday, May 17th, 2010

EPA Considers New Approach to Drinking Water

EPA is developing a new approach to managing drinking water and is currently seeking comments by the public and stakeholders, including utilities, rural communities, and states.


The new approach will focus on four areas:

  • Address contaminants as a groups rather than one at a time so that enhancement of drinking water protection can be achieved cost-effectively.
  • Foster development of new drinking water technologies to address health risks posed by a broad array of contaminants.
  • Use the authority of multiple statutes to help protect drinking water.
  • Partner with states to develop shared access to all public water systems (PWS) monitoring data.

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EPA Proposes Additional Chemicals for Toxics Release Inventory

Monday, May 10th, 2010

EPA Proposes Additional Chemicals for Toxics Release InventoryThe EPA is proposing to add 16 chemicals to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) list of reportable chemicals. Established as part of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, TRI is a publicly available EPA database that contains information on toxic chemicals, toxic chemical releases and waste management activities reported annually by certain industries as well as federal facilities.

EPA believes the following chemicals are reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens:

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Cadmium Exposure and Testing

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

By Elisabeth Lutanie, Ph.D.Cadmium Exposure and Testing

Cadmium is a transitional metal that can have harmful cumulative effects on the human body. This article explains what cadmium is, where it comes from, how people get exposed to it, and how laboratories can test for it.

What is Cadmium?

Cadmium (Cd, atomic number 48) is a silver- or bluish-white metal in the group 12 of the periodic table. It is usually found with an oxidation state of +2 and combined with other elements such as oxygen (cadmium oxide), chlorine (cadmium chloride), or sulfur (cadmium sulfate, cadmium sulfide). It is also a cumulative poison associated with an array of syndromes such as renal dysfunction, reproductive toxicity, and bone defects. It is classified as a human carcinogen (Group 1) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer [1], and as a probable human carcinogen (Group B1) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  

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