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      The Problem of PFAS – Background

      May 4, 2021 at 10:17 AM / by David Gallagher posted in PFAS

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      If you’ve been in the environmental arena as long as I have, seeing a “chemistry” term on the nightly news in conjunction with pollution is usually nothing to worry too much about. Sure, it’s an indicator that something bad has happened locally, but usually the news is a bit more…wild, than it needs to be and everything turns out just fine. After all, sensationalism is what gets the viewers!

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      Why Concentrate Down to 1 mL End Point? Can you go down to 0.5 mL?

      April 29, 2021 at 3:00 PM / by Michael Ebitson posted in SPE solid phase extraction, Sample preparation, tech tips, EPA Method, Drying, application, evaporation systems, lower volume samples

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      When working with regulated environmental methods have you ever asked yourself why are all these extracts concentrated down to one milliliter (mL) final volume? This is true for most soil and aqueous methods. Of course, a few methods will require a more diluted final volume but not many.

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      The Importance of Quality Control on Lab Solvents & SPE Consumables

      April 22, 2021 at 5:00 PM / by Deanna Bissonnette posted in SPE solid phase extraction, epa method 525.2, epa method 525.3, quality control, spe consumables

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      Ever wonder if you need to perform quality control (QC) on solvents and solid phase extraction (SPE) consumables? Well, the answer is yes! You want to make sure that your disks and solvents are good to go before running real-life samples and risk losing that sample. Not only that, but QC samples also help to identify any background in your lab's extraction procedures.

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      What is the difference between an Internal Standard and Surrogate?

      April 1, 2021 at 1:00 PM / by Michael Ebitson posted in epa method 525.2, water extractions, Internal Standard, Surrogate

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      Have you ever worked with new methods and said to yourself “yes I know what these internal standards and surrogates are measuring and when to add them to the samples”? Sounds familiar right? Well, I remember when I first started working in the laboratory and needed to fully understand and follow all method protocols and standard operating procedures (SOPs). One of the questions I asked was, what is the difference between method 525.2 and its internal standard and surrogates versus every other method we extract and analyze?

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      In Honor of World Water Day!

      March 22, 2021 at 12:38 PM / by Deanna Bissonnette posted in water

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      Happy World Water Day!! I know I love water, so as some take the time to cherish their loved ones on Valentine’s Day, why not take World Water Day to cherish and appreciate our freshwater?! I challenge you to use significantly less water on March 22, than you use on a regular basis. Some examples include: turning off the water while you brush your teeth or wash your face; taking a two minute shower; making sure the washing machine is full before doing a partial load; collecting the water in the sink to soak other dishes while washing dishes; and so much more!

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      Pesticide Contamination – Is That Water Safe to Drink?

      March 21, 2021 at 1:45 PM / by Maura Rury posted in contamination, pesticide, extraction, safe water, Smartprep, SPE-DEX 5000

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      Have you ever spent the day walking through the woods, paused to take in the natural sights, smells and sounds of a babbling brook or flowing waterfall and thought….“I wonder how many pesticides are in that water?”

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      Extraction of 1,4-Dioxane from Drinking Water

      March 11, 2021 at 2:30 PM / by Biotage posted in SPE solid phase extraction, epa method 522, UCMR, 1,4 Dioxane

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      1,4-dioxane – sometimes referred to as just dioxane – has gotten a lot of press since the U.S. EPA added it to the third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 3). It is a relatively common solvent in analytical laboratories; however, it also finds use as a stabilizer for manufacturing items such as shampoo, cosmetics and food additives.

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      4 Tips to Keep Your Solvent Evaporator in TipTop Shape

      February 25, 2021 at 2:00 AM / by Deanna Bissonnette posted in tech tips, solvent evaporation, evaporation systems, solvent drying, preventative maintenance

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      “I love doing maintenance. It’s the best part of my week” – said nobody ever. Let’s be honest. We all dread performing maintenance. Why? It’s boring. I’m a chemist and I’d rather spend my time using my instrument than maintaining it. It seems unnecessary. I’m a fan of what I call “sensory maintenance” – that water looks pretty clean, that pump sounds pretty good.

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      In Defense of Methylene Chloride

      December 17, 2020 at 1:45 PM / by Maura Rury posted in SPE solid phase extraction, application

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      If you’re familiar with methylene chloride (which I’m sure you are since it’s one of the most widely used laboratory solvents), you know that it’s developed a reputation for being one of the “bad boys” of the solvent world. The bad press has certainly been earned. It’s been attributed to over 60 deaths in the last 4 decades. It’s also pretty aggressive – exposure to just a few ounces for a few minutes can be enough to cause severe damage or death. And since it’s a colorless liquid, an innocent-looking spill could be a severely harmful hazard.

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      An Alternative To n-Hexane For Doing Oil and Grease Extractions

      December 17, 2020 at 1:45 PM / by Andrew Taylor posted in SPE solid phase extraction, application, oil and grease, n-hexane

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      Volatile. Flammable. Skin irritant. Respiratory irritant. Possibly fatal if swallowed. For those of you processing samples according to EPA Method 1664B, you’ve seen these hazard descriptions before – on the safety data sheet (SDS) for n-hexane. For those of you who aren’t familiar with (or have forgotten about) the hazards related to n-hexane, those are just a few. It also smells unpleasant and could explode if heated. It’s a relatively unpleasant organic solvent to work with and it begs the question:

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