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Target Analyte Metals (Heavy Metals) and Cyanide

This Fact Sheet is presented by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III (EPA) to assist in the selection of analytical parameters and the associated Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) procedures to be utilized in Phase II Environmental Assessments under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields initiative. This fact sheet is presented for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as a federal policy or directive. The Brownfields Coordinator for this region may be reached at 215-814-5000.

LIST OF TARGET ANALYTE METALS AND CYANIDE

ANALYSIS METHODS

Please note that the methods listed below are EPA approved and the most commonly used by EPA and their contractors. However, they are not the only methods for the analysis of metals and cyanide. In addition, these are not drinking water test methods.

METHOD APPLICABLE MATRICES
EPA 200 Series (1) Aqueous
EPA SW-846 Metals Digestion 3000 Series Analysis 7000 Series & 6010 (2) Cyanide 9010 or 9020 (2) Aqueous, Soil/Sediment, & Waste
EPA CLP Statement Of Work 3/90 Aqueous & Soil/Sediment
  1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 1983. Test Methods for the Chemical Analysis of Water and Wastes. Washington, D.C. March.
  2. EPA. 1986. Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste. SW-846. Washington, D.C. September.

COLLECTION MEDIA/VOLUME

Listed below are the EPA-recommended preservation and holding times as well as suggested glassware.

MATRIX GLASSWARE VOLUME PRESERVATIVE HOLDING TIME
Soil/Sediment 8-oz soil jar 1 8-oz jar ice to 4º C 28 days for metals;
14 days for cyanide;
24 hours for hexavalent chromium
Aqueous 1 liter polypropylene bottle 1 L bottle metals: HNO3 to pH <2 & ice to 4º C,
cyanide; NaOH to pH >12 & ice to 4º C,
hexavalent chromium; ice to 4º C
28 days

14 days

24 hours

Waste 8-oz wide mouth jar 1 8-oz jar none required
(ice preferred)
none (try not to exceed 14 days for cyanide)

MINIMUM LABORATORY QUALITY CONTROL MEASURES

The laboratory should have Standard Operating Procedures available for review for the metals and cyanide analyses and for all associated methods needed to complete the volatile analysis, such as total solids, instrument maintenance, sample handling, and sample documentation procedures. In addition, the laboratory should have a Laboratory Quality Assurance/Quality Control Statement available for review which includes all key personnel qualifications.

QC TYPE FREQUENCY OF ANALYSIS ACCEPTABLE LIMITS
Initial Calibration Prior to analysis of samples (minimum three concentration levels for every compound and an instrument blank) Correlation Coefficient for all analyses should be > 0.995, ICP analysis should include interference checks, and serial dilutions, all furnace results should be acquired in duplicate and at least one cyanide standard must be extracted with the samples
Blank concentration should not exceed twice the instrument detection limit
Continuing Calibration Once per 10 samples (mid-level standard containing all compounds) and a continuing calibration blank Within 10% of true value (20% for cyanide and mercury)
Blank concentration should not exceed twice the instrument detection limit
Method Blank Once per digestion or extraction set See method for allowable limits
Matrix Spikes One per set or per 20 samples 75-125%
Duplicates One per set or per 20 samples  

MINIMUM DATA PACKAGE REQUIREMENTS

Note: The optional QC must be maintained by laboratory for at least one year for possible future QC audits.

Region 3 | Mid-Atlantic Cleanup | Mid-Atlantic Brownfields & Land Revitalization


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