EPA Method 550

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EPA Method 550:
Determination of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Drinking Water By b Liquid-Liquid Extraction and HPLC with Coupled Ultraviolet and Fluorescence Detection.

A 1-L sample is serially extracted with methylene chloride using a separatory funnel. The methylene chloride extract is dried and concentrated to a volume of 1 mL. A 3-mL portion of acetonitrile is added to the extract and concentrated to 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.

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

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

(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. A MDL for each analyte must also be determined.

Maximum Holding Time:
7 days; extracts within 30 days.



Ranges differ for each analyte depending on matrix and interferences.

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 matrix are presented in the method.

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.

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