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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Chemical Analysis

The Region 9 Laboratory has a wide range of analytical chemistry capabilities to support environmental decision-making. Environmental samples are analyzed for organic and inorganic contaminants in a variety of media including water, soil/sediment, air and animal tissue. Region 9 Laboratory analytical services generate data to support many of EPA's programs including RCRA and CERCLA (Superfund), drinking water monitoring, air quality monitoring, and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program.


Analytical Capabilities

flask   General Chemistry Analyses

The Lab performs a full range of classical water quality analyses including:

  • Alkalinity
  • Ammonia
  • Anions
  • BOD
  • Cyanide
  • Hardness
  • Hexavalent Chromium
  • Nitrate/Nitrite-N
  • Sulfide
  • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
  • Total Suspended Solids (TSS)
  • Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN)
  • Total Organic Carbon
  • Perchlorate

In addition, soil and sediment samples can be analyzed for the following parameters:

  • Anions
  • Cyanide
  • Percent Moisture
  • Perchlorate
  • pH in soil
  • Total organic carbon

atoms  Metals

Metals in water, soil and animal tissue are determined by a variety of techniques at the Region 9 Laboratory.

Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometry (ICP) - The Region 9 Lab operates an ICP coupled with an atomic emission spectrometer and an ICP coupled with a mass spectrometer. After applying one of several digestion techniques to a sample, the digested sample is introduced into the ICP which is capable of measuring up to 24 inorganic elements simultaneously. Concentrations are usually in the parts per billion (ppb) to parts per million (ppm) range.

Cold Vapor Atomic Absorbance Mercury Analyzer (CVAA) - Is used to determine mercury concentration. Currently a quantitation limit of 30 ppt (0.030 ug/L) is achievable.

Region 9 laboratory Target Metals List:

 

Analyte

Aqueous Samples

Soil Samples

ICP-AES
Method 200.7

ICP-MS
Method 200.8

ICP-AES
Method 6010B 

Reporting Limit (ug/L)

Reporting Limit (ug/L)

Reporting Limit (ug/kg)

Aluminum

100

20

100

Antimony

20

1.0

2.0

Arsenic

20

1.0

2.0

Barium

10

1.0

5.0

Beryllium

1.0

0.50

0.10

Boron

100

 -

10

Cadmium

5.0

1.0

0.50

Calcium

100

 -

100

Chromium

10

1.0

1.0

Cobalt

10

0.50

2.0

Copper

10

2.0

4.0

Iron

100

 -

100

Lead

20

2.0

3.0

Lithium

10

 -

-

Magnesium

500

 -

50

Manganese

5.0

2.0

5.0

Molybdenum

20

0.50

5.0

Nickel

10

1.0

5.0

Potassium

2000

 -

500

Selenium

20

1.0

2.0

Silica (SiO2)

500

 -

-

Silver

10

0.50

1.0

Sodium

500

 -

50

Strontium

5.0

 -

-

Thallium

20

2.0

5.0

Tin

100

 -

-

Titanium

10

 -

-

Thorium

 -

2.0

-

Uranium

-

0.50

-

Vanadium

10

4.0

2.0

Zinc

10

5.0

8.0

Mercury

0.030
(Method 245.1)

-

0.025
(Method 7473)

graph   Volatile Organic Chemicals/Pesticides

Gas Chromatography - The Region 9 Laboratory uses several gas chromatographs equipped with different selective detectors to measure a variety of organic chemical constituents in environmental samples. Analyses include:

  • Petroleum hydrocarbons in water and soil analyzed using GC equipped with a flame ionization detector (FID).
  • Chlorinated Pesticides and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in water, soil/sediment and animal tissue analyzed using GC equipped with an electron capture detector (ECD).
  • 1,2-Dibromoethane (EDB) and 1,2-Dibromo-3-Chloropropane (DBCP) in water by GC-ECD.
  • Volatile and Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds - A gas chromatograph (GC) coupled with a mass spectrometer (MS) is used to separate, identify and quantitate volatile organic compounds in water and soil, and semi-volatile organic compounds in water, soil and animal tissue. Please contact the lab for the complete lists of targeted volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds.
  • Pesticide Screening by Immunoassay - Using an Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (ELISA), the Region 9 Lab can analyze samples for individual pesticides. This method can be applied to either solid, or liquid media and offers fast turnaround time and low cost relative to traditional pesticide methods. ELISA is not suitable for compliance monitoring purposes, although it can provide determinative data for preliminary sample screening in a larger study.

Air Toxics

Using a cryofocusing preconcentrator and a GC/MS, the Region 9 Laboratory analyzes for volatile organic compounds in air. The procedure used is consistent with EPA Method TO-15.

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IIf you need more information on EPA analytical methods, check these locations on EPA's National Web Sites.

General

EPA Test Method Collections

Superfund

Contract Laboratory Program
Statement of Work for organic and inorganic analyses by the Superfund Contract Laboratory Program.

Solid Waste

SW-846 Methods Online
Physical and Chemical test methods for evaluating solid wastes.

Water

Analytical Methods for Drinking Water

Air

EPA's Organic (TO) Compendium of Method for Air Toxics

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