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

Posts Tagged ‘contaminants’

Proposed plans for UCMR Program

Monday, December 6th, 2010

By Heidi Brayer

UCMR 3At an April 2010 stakeholder’s meeting, the EPA discussed proposed plans for the third phase of the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation (UCMR) program. If approved, approximately 4,800 public water utilities will be required to monitor up to 30 contaminants starting in 2013.

Learn more about UCMR…

Reducing Errors through Multi-Increment Sampling

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

By Gregory Salata, Ph.D.

Multi-Increment Sampling

The objective of environmental sampling is to quantify contamination at a given location. In situations where sample collection may result in discrete samples of a heterogeneous nature, results may be biased based on the particle size of each sub-aliquot collected at the site. One option to help reduce the errors associated with non-uniform sample composition is to use multi-increment sampling (MIS) to create a representative, homogeneous aliquot for analysis of analytes.

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How to Determine Aquatic Humic Substances

Monday, June 28th, 2010

By Lynda Huckestein, Project Chemist, Kelso, WA

How to Determine Aquatic Humic Substances

Aquatic Humic Substances (AHS) result from the decomposition of plant and animal residues and are found in soil, sediment, and water. They are widespread in nature and are mostly comprised from naturally occurring dissolved organic matter in water.

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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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USGS Study Finds Drinking Water Contaminated, but Safe to Drink

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Contaminated Drinking WaterA recent United States Geological Survey (USGS) study of public drinking water wells in California, Connecticut, Nebraska and Florida found that some were contaminated, but in amounts so minimal, human health was unlikely to be affected. The USGS tracked the movement of contaminants in groundwater and public-supply wells in four different aquifers.

According to the USGS, wells are not equally vulnerable to contamination because of differences in three factors: the general chemistry of the aquifer, groundwater age, and direct paths within aquifer systems that allow water and contaminants to reach a well. The importance of each factor differs among the various aquifer settings, depending upon natural geology and local aquifer conditions, as well as human activities related to land use and well construction and operation. However, the USGS feels that the study of the four different aquifer systems can be applied to similar aquifers and wells throughout the nation.

Read more about drinking water contamination…

EPA to Address Dioxin Food Safety Concerns

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

EPA to Address Dioxin Food Safety ConcernsThe United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will soon release its response to a 2006 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report recommending changes to the EPA’s 2000 draft assessment of the risks posed by 2,3,7,8 Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-Dioxin.

Dioxins are environmental contaminants according to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) website (September 2009). Most human dioxin exposure, however, occurs through the diet, with more than 95% coming through dietary intake of animal fats. Dioxins enter the food chain primarily in an air-to-leaf/soil-to-animal route.

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