U.S. EPA volatile organics method 524.2 using PURGE and TRAP GC/MS


Clean drinking water is of worldwide interest. Contaminants can compromise the quality of a water supply and cause short- and long-term health effects. Stringent water quality criteria help to ensure safe drinking water by requiring the detection and quantification of a wide variety of contaminants at extremely low levels. U.S. EPA Method 524.2 (1) provides the guidance necessary for identifying volatile organic pollutants at concentrations consistent with water quality objectives. The equipment and conditions presented here provide data compliant with the rigorous Method 524.2 criteria. It is applicable to a wide range of volatile organic compounds and provides the necessary sensitivity needed to meet drinking water standards. Detection limits, calibration results, precision and accuracy data are presented for the more commonly targeted compounds.

Method Summary
This is a Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) method that uses the purge and trap technique for sample introduction. An aliquot of sample is purged of its volatile components by bubbling an inert gas through the sample. These compounds are then trapped on a sorbent material, heated, and backflushed into a gas chromatography (GC) column. Individual analytes are separated using chromatographic temperature programming and eluted to a mass spectrometer (MS) for detection. Identification is performed by comparing retention times and mass spectra to those obtained from known standards under identical conditions. Quantification is performed using the internal standard technique.

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