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Environmental Testing Technical Papers and Presentations

Alpha Analytical's experienced staff has written and/or collaborated with several industry consultants to publish a number of environmental technical reports and presentations on various contaminants and analytical methods. A synopsis of each technical report is noted below.  Please click on each topic to forward a request for the full publication or to view a copy of the posted presentation.


Managing PCBs in Caulking in Older Buildings

This presentation provided by Jim Occhialini, Alpha Analytical, in conjunction with the Environmental Business Council, New England (EBCNE) provides up-to-date information of the PCBs in caulk issues and discuss approaches in managing the testing, removal and disposal of PCB-contaiminated materials.


PCB Homologs and Congeners by Mass Spectrometry

PCBs are generally referred to as Aroclors and are chemically comprised of 209 isomers or congeners.  Of the 209, approximately 70% were produced at significant levels. This article describes various applications, environmental impact and various analyses available.

A Comparison of Commonly Used Cyanide Analytical Methodologies for Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) Applications

Several common analytical procedures were used to compare concentrations of cyanide from groundwater samples from an area that was impacted by cyanide-containing residuals. Both filtered and unfiltered samples were analyzed to evaluate the significant differences in methods attributed to relative solubility differences among the cyanide species present. Special emphasis was placed on the usefulness of data for manufacatured gas plant (MGP) sites.

Low-Level Perchlorate Analysis by EPA Method 332.0


Alpha Analytical Labs is now offering EPA Method 332.0 for the determination of perchlorate in drinking water, non-potable water and soil. Alpha is currently the only lab in Massachusetts that is certified by MassDEP to perform this analysis on drinking water. Due to the lingering fear of potential false positive results by EPA Method 314.0, Alpha is now offering EPA Method 332.0 to provide a much higher degree of qualitative certainty for the identification of perchlorate.


Ecological Risk assessment or “ECO-Risk” from the laboratory perspective requires a new vision in performing analytical testing.  This article discusses the use of Standard Reference Materials (SRMs) as part of a quality assurance program requiring greater analytical precision and accuracy than routine compliance testing.

Preparation and Analysis of Total Mercury in Biological Tissue Samples using Atomic Fluorescence Spectrometry

Analysis of biological tissue presents a difficult challenge to the laboratory in that organisms come in all shapes and sizes, and very often require some preparation such as homogenization and/or dissection before digestion and analysis. Mercury concentrations can be extremely low or relatively high due to bioaccumulation processes. Atomic fluorescence spectrometry provides the advantage of adjusting sensitivity to determine extremely low level as well as high level concentrations. The techniques presented here have been applied to a large variety of tissue types and organisms.

Comparison of Naphthalene Measurements between Laboratory Methods and Ultra-fast Field Gas Chromatography

This paper presents the results of a side-by-side comparison of field and conventional analytical techniques for measuring naphthalene from a flux chamber. Results from an ultra-fast gas chromatograph are compared with results from USEPA TO-15 and USEPA TO-13.

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