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Analytical Support for Ecological / Human Health Risk Assessment Applications

Generating useful, reliable analytical data for risk assessments, particularly those involving sediment and/or tissue sampling programs, is the most difficult task an environmental laboratory can undertake. Contaminated sediments can present a significant challenge to achieving project-specific detection limits, given the high total organic compound (TOC) and moisture content. This can be further exacerbated by high concentrations of both target and non-target analytes. Although tissue samples pose different challenges associated with high lipid content, some aspects are similar.

Often many of the projects we assess require samples that can be the most difficult to analyze. Not only that, these samples, have the most stringent regulatory requirements in terms of detection limits and data quality. Alpha is known for a unique combination of skills that provide us with the capacity to produce a high-quality product in accordance with all applicable regulatory requirements in support of large projects with fast turnaround times.

Alpha Analytical's Mansfield facility has been specifically designed, staffed and equipped to support ecological and human health risk assessment applications. This facility also routinely handles sediment dredging applications that often require the same skill set as supporting risk assessment programs. Unlike more routine site characterization, these programs require the laboratory to place much more emphasis on sample storage, homogenization and preparation at the front end of the analytical process. This process works  together with method development expertise in order to  maximize analytical sensitivity and overcome interferences. To learn more about the crucial tissue sample preparation step, and how sediments can be amended in the laboratory to support remediation programs, tune in to the following videos:

Tissue Preparation

Amending Sediment

Bioaccessibility 

Alpha Analytical offers Method 1340, In Vitro Bioaccessibility Assay for Lead and Arsenic in Soil  (IVBA). This procedure is a validated method applicable for the risk- based characterization approach of lead bioaccessibility in lead-contaminated soil. (IVBA is also defined as the physiological solubility of the metal that may be available for absorption into the body.) At this time, EPA has only validated this method for lead-contaminated soil under field conditions and not for other matrices (e.g., water, air, amended soils, dust and food).

DATA MANAGEMENT TOOLS FOR ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

Alpha Analytical has recently incorporated a series of screening levels and regulatory criteria for ecological evaluations and assessments into our Data Merger on-line data management system. This database tool provides for fast and efficient comparison of your sample analytical data to the criteria of your choice. Multiple criteria can be compared simultaneously in a wide variety of custom-built data tables highlighting exceedances of sample results and reporting limits with Excel file download capabilities. Data Merger can also group information from multiple laboratory reports into a single electronic file containing as many as 2000 samples.

 

Contact Alpha Analytical today for your upcoming Sediment & Tissue analysis projects.

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