EPA Method 550.1

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EPA Method 550.1:
Determination of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Drinking Water by Liquid-Solid Extraction and HPLC with Coupled Ultraviolet and Fluorescence Detection.

Summary:
A 1-L water sample is passed through a liquid/solid extraction (LSE) cartridge that contains 1 g of a solid inorganic matrix coated with a chemically bonded C-18 organic phase. The use of disks impregnated with the same material is also acceptable. PAHs are eluted from the cartridge or disk with a small quantity of methylene chloride, dried, and concentrated further to 1-mL. A 3-mL portion of acetonitrile is added to the extract and concentrated to a final volume of 0.5 mL. The concentrations of PAHs in the extract are measured using a high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system equipped with ultraviolet absorption (UV) and fluorescence detectors.

Scope:
This method determines certain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in drinking water sources and finished drinking water.

Citation:
Methods for the Determination of Organic Compounds in Drinking Water - Supplement I (EPA/600/4-90-020)

Interferences:
(A) Glassware contamination: Thoroughly clean glassware, including baking or solvent rinse.(B) Solvent contamination: Use high purity solvents.(C) Extracted interferences: Interference from extracted non-target compounds, with retention times similar to target compounds, can be reduced by sample cleanup. However, matrix interferences have been observed for benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, and benzo(g,h,i)perylene.

QC Requirements:
Initial demonstration of laboratory capability, analysis of laboratory reagent blanks (LRBs), laboratory fortified blanks (LFBs), laboratory fortified matrix samples, and QC samples. Additional QC practices are recommended. A MDL for each analyte must also be determined.

Maximum Holding Time:
7 days; extraction within 40 days.

Media:
WATER

Subcategory:
Organic

Concentration:
Ranges differ for each analyte depending on matrix and interferences.

Precision:
Precision and accuracy values were calculated using data from seven replicate analyses of fortified reagent water. Precision and accuracy values at different concentrations and in a tap water and well water matrix (analyses of the latter requiring LSE extraction) are presented in the method.

Detection:
MDLs were determined using the standard deviation of replicate analyses of an analyte-fortified reagent water sample multiplied by the t-value for (# of samples - 1) degrees of freedom at the 99% confidence level. Detailed instructions for how MDLs are determined are found at 40 CFR part 136, Appendix B.

Revision Number:
Jul-90