Semi-volatile organics in drinking water using EPA method 525.2 optimized for greater sensitivity

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Courtesy of PerkinElmer, Inc.

The US EPA Drinking Water Manual contains the methods used to identify and quantify regulated and unregulated organic drinking water contaminants. Included in this manual is Method 525.2, a Gas Chromatographic/ Mass Spectrophotometric (GC/MS) technique for the determination of semi-volatile organic compounds. Method 525.2 can be used for the identification and quantification of a group of analytes known as Acid Extractables and Base Neutrals. The number of compounds that can be determined using this technique is extensive and includes a large number of regulated and unregulated drinking water contaminants.

Drinking water regulations specify acceptable levels below which it has been determined human health will not be adversely affected. In many cases these regulatory levels require extremely sensitive analytical techniques.

This extensive analyte list, and the extreme sensitivity requirements, make EPA Method 525.2 one of the most challenging.

US EPA methods incorporate stringent quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA) criteria. It is imperative that the technique used for the identification and quantification of compounds, which can endanger human health, meet the quality objectives. Compliance with these criteria ensures compliant data that can be used with confidence.

The TurboMass™ Mass Spectrometer and AutoSystem™ XL Gas Chromatograph provide results compliant with the drinking water objectives. Table I lists recommended chromatographic conditions for performing this method. Table II lists the mass spectrophotometric conditions.

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