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Dec 2020 – Lab News

Lab News

The mergers and acquisitions in the environmental laboratory marketplace dwindled in the tail end of 2020, but the following analytical topics are keeping the testing community busy.

  1. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) continue to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue. How long do we have to wait for validated and US EPA-approved methods for other than drinking water? This could be as early as the first quarter of 2021, but don’t hold your breath.
  2. Microplastics – a growing issue of concern. There is a lot of movement on techniques to characterize and define consistent procedures for this rapidly developing area of concern.
  3. The US EPA published emerging contaminants of concern for contaminated federal facility sites in 2017, and published individual fact sheets for each contaminant (see https://www.epa.gov/fedfac/emerging-contaminants-and-federal-facility-contaminants-concern). It’s interesting to reflect on the list and see the varying degree of interest in the contaminants in the mainstream environmental regulatory programs. Some have intense focus, while others are hardly thought of on any routine basis. The contaminants are:
    1. 1,2,3-Trichloropropane (TCP)
    2. 1,4-Dioxane
    3. 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene (TNT)
    4. Dinitrotoluene (DNT)
    5. Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX)
    6. Nanomaterials
    7. Perchlorate
    8. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
    9. Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB)
    10. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)
    11. Tungsten (bonus points if you know the alternate elemental name)

David Blye, CEAC

Principal Chemist