Testing Completed for Atrazine Detection Kits
Release date: 05/05/2004
Contact: Jane Ice (513) 569-7311
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CINCINNATI (May 5, 2004) – The U.S. EPA’s Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Program, in cooperation with Battelle, recently completed performance verification tests on technologies used for detection of the herbicide atrazine in water.
Four companies provided kits for testing: Abraxis, Beacon Analytical, Silver Lake Research and Strategic Diagnostics. Verification testing of the atrazine detection kits was conducted in collaboration with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Atrazine is an herbicide widely applied on a variety of crops, especially corn and sorghum. Atrazine is also used to control weeds in residential lawns and for other non-agricultural applications. It is one of the most heavily used herbicides in the United States. Atrazine detection kits provide a method of monitoring the levels of atrazine in steams, lakes, and water systems.
The purpose of ETV’s verification testing was to determine the analytical and operational performance characteristics of the atrazine detection kits. The kits employ technologies based on immunoassay methods in which specific antibodies are used to detect and measure atrazine and atrazine-related compounds.
The tests provide near real-time information on concentrations of these compounds in water samples. Results are available within several hours of sample collection, while conventional laboratory analyses for atrazine require several days or weeks. Immunoassay kits also screen a large number of samples and the cost per sample is less than with conventional atrazine analysis.
Verification tests included those for each technology’s accuracy, precision, linearity, method detection limit, interferences, and false positives/false negatives.
ETV is a public-private partnership that provides quality-assured, peer-reviewed test data about the performance of new environmental technologies. The information is used by purchasers and regulators in their decisions to select innovative environmental technology. More than 260 technologies have been verified across a wide spectrum of environmental science and engineering categories.
EPA also relies on this quality science as the basis for sound policy and decision making.