Environmental Analysis

Monitoring of the environment for substances potentially harmful to health is a core activity not just for government departments but for many organisations who wish to ensure that they are not harming their staff or the environment.  Samples of air, water, soil or plant matter are routinely monitored for the presence of potentially harmful substances – for example, pesticides in river water or the soil. Foodstuffs are similarly monitored.

When testing the water quality of a river, a point sample only provides a snap-shot of the situation, where as monitoring over a period of time will help present a better overall picture and can indicate where there is chronic build-up of a potentially harmful substance(s).  Samples of tissue are often taken from fish living in the river are examined to determine the nature of any chemicals in the water.  Another more recent approach is to use a virtual fish, a semi-permeable membrane device (SPMD) developed by the US Geological Survey.  This is placed in the river for a period of time, and then any organic chemicals are extracted with solvent, concentrated and analysed as they would be from a fish.

Air quality can be monitored similarly by filtering air for a period of time, extracting the filter, and then concentrating and analysing whatever organic molecules may be trapped on the filter.  This is a key activity in industrial environments where PAHs may be a risk factor for workers.

When concentrating samples the EZ-2 (small volumes) and Rocket (large volumes) are ideal tools for concentrating in the analytical laboratory.  Coupled with SampleGenie they enhance analyte recovery, reduce inter-sample variability and free workers to do more productive tasks than monitoring a concentration system. SampleGenie enables large volume samples to be concentrated directly into an autosampler vial, eliminating the need to transfer the sample.
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