Method Development

Method Development

Service Category: Environmental Analysis, PCBs, Department of Defense

Challenge:

Our client’s 20 acre site was contaminated with low levels of Radium 226 and needed to be tested for PCB’s and extractable hydrocarbon fuels. With a tight timeline and 600 samples required from the contaminated soil that could not be removed, our client came to us for a rapid and low cost solution.

Solution:

C&T scientists developed and validated a new field extraction procedure for simultaneously extracting both target analytes from 5 gram soil samples.  Easy-to-use reagent and container kits were created that allowed field technicians to extract 40 samples per 8 hour shift.

Once the samples were extracted, they were transported by C&T courier to our lab for analysis.  We have the capabilities to run a high volume of EPA compendia Gas Chromatography (GC) tests with a quick turnaround time.  The results were transmitted in electronic data deliverable (EDD) formats with a summary report within 24 hours of receipt of the extracts in the lab.

Results:

The method developed by C&T allowed low level radioactive soil to remain onsite satisfying Navy requirements. C&T’s capability to analyze 40 samples for Hydrocarbons and PCBs and report results by EDD in 24 hours allowed direct result loading to client database created significant efficiencies in the client’s data tracking and interpretation tasks.

The procedure developed provided legally defensible data that compared to within +/- 10% RPD against alternative EPA compendia laboratory extraction methods for both target analytes while providing an estimated $150,000 cost savings and greatly improved accuracy and precision compared to EPA acceptable alternative field screening methods. The project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget in April of 2010.