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Michael H. Hiatt
Research Chemist

Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, NERL/ORD

EXPERTISE:  Developed commercial business performing contract work for EPA/Superfund. Laboratory Director for commercial environmental laboratory.  Analytical chemist with operational experience on most routine laboratory equipment. 

INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH MISSION:  Immediate research objectives: Investigate the application of vacuum distillation as an analytical tool. Long-term research objectives: Enhance the understanding of volatile organic compounds and their presence in the environment.

SIGNIFICANCE/RELEVANCE OF RESEARCH IN RISK ASSESSMENT PARADIGM:  The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are among the most frequently encountered pollutants in the environment. These compounds include carcinogens, endrocrine disruptors, and bioconcentrating chemicals that require monitoring to ensure the quality of the environment. The use of VD/GC/MS (vacuum distillation/gas chromatography/mass spectrometry) to determine VOCs has been demonstrated to be effectively applied to biological samples as well as the routine water, soil, and hazardous waste samples.

SIGNIFICANT PIONEERING CONTRIBUTIONS: Two patents have been issued for the VD apparatus. Two methods have been approved by the RCRA methods workgroup for inclusion in SW-846. Quality control for VOCs analyses have been optimized for production with a significant reduction in costs for QC.


Two RCRA methods have been developed. SW-846 Method 5032 (vacuum distillation as an extraction technique to be used in concert with a determination method such as 8260) has been approved and final promulgation is anticipated in 1997. Method 8261 is a VD/GC/MS method using optimized QC and used for the analyses of all environmental/hazardous waste matrices (except air).

EDUCATION: B.S. degree in Chemistry, 1969, UNLV. B.S. degree in Physics, 1969, UNLV

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: 1995-present Research Chemist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Exposure Research Laboratory - Characterization Research Division Las Vegas, NV. 1989-1995 Branch Chief for Quality Assurance Research Branch, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EMSL-Las Vegas.

1984-1989 Laboratory Director for Chemical Research Laboratory (environmental laboratory).

1983-1984 Laboratory Manager for Superfund contract at Analytical Technologies.

ANCILLARY AGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES: SW-846 Organic Methods Workgroup (support of RCRA).

STAA, Level III  (1999)
EPA Science Achievement Award (1998)
STAA, Level II (1996)


Selected recent publications:

Hiatt, M. H. Internal Standards: A Source of Analytical Bias For Volatile Organic Analyte Determinations. JOURNAL OF CHROMATOGRAPHY A. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, 1218:498-503, (2011). PUBLISHED 3/15/11.

Internal standards: A source of analytical bias for volatile organic analyte determinations (PDF, 27 pp., 154 KB, about PDF), Hiatt, M.H., Journal of Chromatography A, 1218, 2011, pp 498-503; Supplemenetal to Internal standards: A source of analytical bias for volatile organic analyte determinations (PDF, 2 pp., 64 KB, about PDF).

Evaluation of Analytical Reporting Errors Generated as Described in SW-846 Method 8261A (PDF)(14 pp, 103KB), Hiatt, M.H., Accreditation and Quality Assurance: Journal for Quality, Comparability and Reliability in Chemical Measurement, Volume 13, Numbers 4-5 / May, 2008, pp 247-254; Supplement to Evaluation of Analytical Reporting Errors Generated as Described in SW-846 Method 8261A (PDF) (8 pp, 27KB)

Analyses of Fish Tissue by Vacuum Distillation/Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry, Hiatt, M.H. Anal. Chem. 1997, 69, 1127-1134

Vacuum Distillation Coupled with Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry for the analysis of Environmental Samples, Hiatt, M.H. Anal. Chem. 1995, 67, 4044-4052

Volatile Organic Compound Determinations Using Surrogate-Based Correction for Method and Matrix Effects, Hiatt, M.H.; Farr, C. M. Anal. Chem. 1995, 67, 426-433

Separation and Isolation of Volatile Organic Compounds Using Vacuum Distillation with GC/MS Determination, Hiatt, M.H.; Youngman, D.R.; Donnelly, J.R. Anal. Chem. 1994, 66, 905-908

Determination of Volatile Organic Compounds in Fish Samples by Vacuum Distillation and Fused Silica Capillary Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry, Hiatt, M.H. Anal. Chem. 1983, 55, 506-516

Analysis of Fish and Sediment for Volatile Priority Pollutants, Hiatt, M.H. Anal. Chem. 1981, 53, 1541-1543

Environmental Sciences | Research & Development
National Exposure Research Laboratory
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