PAH Testing

Analytical testing dots PAH Testing

ALS Environmental offers PAH testing (polynuclear or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) in air, water, soil, sediment, tissue, industrial products, and food. The analytical procedures use various laboratory techniques and instrumentation, including Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS), and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), depending on the sample matrix and project requirements.

GC/MS is the preferred procedure due to superior selectivity and sensitivity over the HPLC method. Reporting limits vary with the technique and instrumentation. Trace level analyses are possible with the use of GC/MS in the Selective Ion Monitoring (GC/MS-SIM) mode. Typical reporting levels are listed in the table below. Lower reporting levels may be achieved by adjusting the analysis design.

Analysis

Method

Aqueous Sample Reporting Limits

Solid Sample Reporting Limits

Tissue Sample Reporting Limits

GC/MS Full Scan
Low-level option

EPA 8270C/D

10 µg/L
0.2 µg/L

330 µg/kg
10 µg/kg

NA

GC/MS SIM

EPA 8270C/D - SIM

0.02 µg/L

5 µg/kg

5 µg/kg

HPLC

EPA 8310

0.1-0.2 µg/L

20-100 µg/kg

NA

 

Liquid (aqueous) samples are extracted using traditional liquid-liquid solvent extraction techniques such as continuous liquid/liquid or separatory funnel. Sample cleanup procedures may be used prior to instrumental analysis of aqueous samples.

Solid samples (soil/sediment, etc) are extracted using various liquid-solid extraction techniques. Sample cleanup procedures are typically employed to reduce sample matrix interferences prior to instrumental analysis. This is common to sediment analysis and the analysis of complex waste or solid samples. The procedures used include Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC) cleanup and/or silica gel cleanup.
Tissue samples require homogenization before analysis to ensure representative sampling for each analytical sub-sample. Most projects involving tissue samples have defined, project-specific, homogenization procedures that must be followed. After homogenization, tissue samples are then extracted and cleanups performed similar to those used on solid samples.

Air samples are analyzed by EPA TO-13 (high volume or low volume PUFs), NIOSH 5515 or California Air Resource Board (CARB) 425, depending on the project requirements. Reporting limits for these methods are between 0.5 and 5 µg/sample.

In addition to the PAHs typically analyzed, analysis for the associated PAH alkylated homologs is also available by GC/MS-SIM using specialized detection and quantitation procedures. The inclusion of alkylated homologs may be applied to the forensic aspects of the PAH determinations as it provides the connection to the source of the PAHs.

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Core List of PAH and Alkylated PAHs by EPA 8270/SIM*

1-Methylnaphthalene

C1-Benzothiophenes

2-Methylnaphthalene

C2-Benzothiophenes

Acenaphthene

C3-Benzothiophenes

Acenaphthylene

C2-Naphthalenes

Anthracene

C2-Fluoranthenes/Pyrenes

Benz(a)anthracene

C3-Fluoranthenes/Pyrenes

Benzo(a)pyrene

C1-Chrysenes

Benzo(b)fluoranthene

C2-Chrysenes

Benzo(b)thiophene

C3-Chrysenes

Benzo(e)pyrene

C4-Chrysenes

Benzo(g,h,i)perylene

C3-Naphthalenes

Benzo(k)fluoranthene

C4-Naphthalenes

Biphenyl

C1-Fluorenes

Chrysene

C2-Fluorenes

Dibenz(a,h)anthracene

C3-Fluorenes

Dibenzofuran

C1-Dibenzothiophenes

Dibenzothiophene

C2-Dibenzothiophenes

Fluoranthene

C3-Dibenzothiophenes

Fluorene

C4-Dibenzothiophenes

Indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene

C1-Phenanthrenes/Anthracenes

Naphthalene

C2-Phenanthrenes/Anthracenes

Naphthobenzothiophene

C3-Phenanthrenes/Anthracenes

Perylene

C4-Phenanthrenes/Anthracenes

Phenanthrene

C1-Naphthobenzothiophenes

Pyrene

C2-Naphthobenzothiophenes

 

C3-Naphthobenzothiophenes

 

C1-Fluoranthenes/Pyrenes


*More compounds are being added to this list. Please contact the laboratory for a list of the most current compounds.

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