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Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds

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.

A semivolatile organic compound is an organic compound which has a boiling point higher than water and which may vaporize when exposed to temperatures above room temperature. Semivolatile organic compounds include phenols and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).

LIST OF SEMIVOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS *

* Please note: The list above corresponds to the EPA Contract Laboratory Program (CLP) semivolatile organic list, and is not a complete list of all toxic semivolatile organic compounds. If the site history suggests a semivolatile organic compound may be present which is not on this list, the compound should be included in the requested analysis.

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 semivolatile organic compounds. In addition, these are not drinking water test methods.

METHOD APPLICABLE MATRICES
EPA 625 or 1625 (1) Aqueous
EPA SW-846 3010 or 3020/8250 or 8270 (2) Aqueous
EPA SW-846 3500 or 3550/8250 or 8270 (2) Soil/Sediment & Waste
EPA CLP Statement of Work 3/90 Aqueous & Soil/Sediment
EPA SW-846 8100 or 8310 (2) 610 (1) Water and Soil/Sediment for PAH
EPA SW-846 8040 (2) or 604 (1) Water and Soil/Sediment for Phenols
  1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 1992. Test Methods for Organic Chemical Analysis of Municipal and Industrial Wastewater. Washington, D.C. July.
  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 wide mouthed jar 1 8-oz jar ice to 4º C 14 days
Aqueous 32-oz amber bottle 2 amber bottles ice to 4º C 7 days
Waste 8-oz wide mouth jar 1 8-oz jar none required (ice preferred) none (try not to exceed 14 days)

MINIMUM LABORATORY QUALITY CONTROL MEASURES

The laboratory should have Standard Operating Procedures available for review for the semivolatile organic compound analyses and for all associated methods needed to complete the semivolatile 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
Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS) Tuning Once per day or more frequently if required by method See method criteria for acceptable limits
Initial Calibration Prior to analysis of samples (minimum three concentration levels for every compound and an instrument blank) % Relative Standard Deviation of Response Factors of 30 (see method for any allowable variations), and a minimum Response Factor of 0.05 (see method for calculation)
Continuing Calibration Once per day (mid-level standard containing all compounds) or more frequently if required by method % Difference for Response Factor of 25 (see method for any allowable variations), and a minimum Response Factor of 0.05 (see method for calculation)
Method Blank Once per extraction batch See method for allowable limits
Internal Standards Six per sample (see method for suggested internal standard compounds) -50% to + 100% of Daily standard area and retention time shift (limits depend if packed or capillary column, see method)
Matrix Spike/Matrix Spike Duplicate One set of MS/MSD per 20 samples or analysis set See method for allowable limits
Surrogate Spikes Added to each sample (see method for suggested surrogate compounds) Report recovery

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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