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The importance of quality control in validating concentrations of contaminants of emerging concern in source and treated drinking water samples.
Batt, A., E. Furlong, H. Mash, S. Glassmeyer, AND D. Kolpin. The importance of quality control in validating concentrations of contaminants of emerging concern in source and treated drinking water samples. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. Elsevier BV, AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, 579:1618-1628, (2017).
This paper compares the method performance of six analytical methods used to measure 174 emerging contaminants in drinking water in order to demonstrate the importance of quality assurance procedures needed when conducting long term, national scale water surveys.
A national-scale survey of 247 contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), including organic and inorganic chemical compounds, and microbial contaminants, was conducted in source and treated drinking water samples from 25 treatment plants across the United States. Multiple methods were used to determine these CECs, including six analytical methods to measure 174 pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and pesticides. A three-component quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) program was designed for the subset of 174 CECs which allowed us to assess and compare performances of the methods used. The three components included: 1) a common field QA/QC protocol and sample design, 2) individual investigator-developed method-specific QA/QC protocols, and 3) a suite of 46 method comparison analytes that were determined in two or more analytical methods. Overall method performance for the 174 organic chemical CECs was assessed by comparing spiked recoveries in reagent, source, and treated water over a two-year period. In addition to the 247 CECs reported in the larger drinking water study, another 48 pharmaceutical compounds measured did not consistently meet predetermined quality standards. Methodologies that did not seem suitable for these analytes are overviewed. The need to exclude analytes based on method performance demonstrates the importance of additional QA/QC protocols.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY
SYSTEMS EXPOSURE DIVISION
ENVIRONMENTAL FUTURES ANALYSIS BRANCH