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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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      Why Move to Manual or Automated Solid Phase Extraction?

      December 17, 2020 at 1:43 PM / by Deanna Bissonnette posted in SPE solid phase extraction, LLE liquid-liquid extraction, application

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      If you are tired of shaking liquid-liquid extractions (LLE) and want to move onto a technique that is less labor-intensive, solid phase extraction (SPE) may be your answer! There are manual as well as automated options available for solid phase extraction. It may seem like more work for your lab to move to a different technique, but what you gain in time savings may be worth it to you in the end.

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      Environmental Pollution – Are We All Doomed?

      December 16, 2020 at 2:18 PM / by Maura Rury posted in SPE solid phase extraction, application

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      Have you ever stopped to enjoy a bright, vibrant sunset, only to have that really annoying friend interrupt your thoughts with a comment like “you know you’re just looking at all the pollution in the air, right?”

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      Everything You Wanted to Know About EPA Method 8270 But Were Afraid to Ask

      December 16, 2020 at 2:17 PM / by Deanna Bissonnette posted in SPE solid phase extraction, EPA Method 8270, application

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      On the surface, EPA Method 8270 seems pretty straightforward.  The first version of this method was published over a decade ago and many environmental labs are processing samples according to the guidelines in this method.

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      The Hidden Dangers of Organic Solvents

      December 16, 2020 at 2:16 PM / by Maura Rury posted in SPE solid phase extraction, application, organic solvents

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      “Our laboratory uses organic solvents every day.  Should we be concerned about solvent exposure?” I hear this question fairly often and the short and simple answer is: YES. But if this were a simple yes/no question, I wouldn’t have anything else to say, and this would be the shortest blog post that’s ever been written.

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      5 Sources of Phthalate and Adipate Contamination You Probably Didn’t Know About

      December 16, 2020 at 2:16 PM / by Andrew Taylor posted in SPE solid phase extraction, application

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      “Why do I keep seeing background contamination from phthalate and adipate when I do extractions for semi-volatiles?” This is one of the most common questions I’ve been asked when I’m traveling in the field. It’s an issue I’ve come across in my own lab on occasion and if you can’t find the source of your contamination, it can turn routine application work into a troubleshooting nightmare. Given how often I’ve seen these compounds cause contamination issues, I thought I’d review some of the most common sources for these.

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      Common Mistakes by the Lab Series: The Pain of Contaminated Squeeze Bottles

      December 16, 2020 at 9:42 AM / by Deanna Bissonnette posted in Sample preparation, Solid-phase extraction, SPE, phthalates

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      Ugh…I think we can all agree that the worst thing that can happen when testing high profile samples is losing an extract due to phthalate contamination. Whether you are extracting 525.2 or 625.1 samples, phthalates can ruin your day and wreak great havoc, causing false positives!

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      How to plan for dirty samples for both extraction and analysis

      December 16, 2020 at 9:39 AM / by Matt Harden posted in Sample preparation, Solid-phase extraction, wastewater, gas chromatography, SPE, dirty samples

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      When juggling the responsibilities of working in a sample preparation lab as well as working as an analyst, it is very easy to get caught up in a never-ending cycle of samples. There is no situation “more frustrating” then when you have a bunch of wastewater samples that need to be extracted and analyzed ASAP and there is that one sample that is so much more challenging to extract than the others.

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      Myth Busters: Smaller Sample Volumes - EPA Method 1664B

      December 16, 2020 at 9:22 AM / by Michael Ebitson posted in oil and grease, wastewater, epa method 1664b

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      Have you ever had days of extracting oil and grease samples and thought to yourself “there must be an easier way to work with wastewater samples”? Whether you run oil and grease samples by liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) or by solid-phase extraction (SPE) it can be challenging at times to efficiently extract 1-liter samples due to the sample matrix.

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