The Liquid Chromatography (LC) team performs chemical analysis on samples to identify and measure organic compounds. Implementation and validation of LC methods continue to expand due to the many new chemicals and emerging environmental contaminants present in soil, water and foliage.
EPA Method 539 is used to test for hormones and steroids in drinking water. Personal care and pharmaceutical products can be found in the environment, and often require the liquid chromatograph for testing because these compounds are of a higher molecular weight and less volatile than compounds traditionally detected by gas chromatography.
- The section successfully implemented EPA methods 537 and 539 for drinking water testing under the EPA's Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 3. Method 537 is used to determine the presence of perfluorinated compounds in drinking water. These chemicals are used in the manufacture of Teflon, in the semiconductor industry and in the manufacture of stain repellants. They formerly were used in foam mixtures used to fight fires.
- Restoration of some tests associated with the ambient water monitoring by the Iowa Geological Survey (IGS) significantly increased testing levels for pesticides, pesticide degradates and pharmaceutical compounds, particularly for liquid chromatography methods. Other new testing for the IGS included projects for monitoring pesticides in wetlands (farmed and river) and groundwater.
- The section continued to provide contract analytical support for pesticide residue testing that occurs due to complaint, crop damage or other exposure requiring analyses of foliage, soil or other contaminated objects.