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FIELD ANALYTICAL METHODS: ADVANCED FIELD MONITORING METHODS DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF NEW AND INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES THAT SUPPORT THE SITE CHARACTERIZATION AND MONITORING REQUIREMENTS OF THE SUPERFUND PROGRAM.
More cost-effective field screening and monitoring methods will be provided to increase the amount of information available concerning the location, source, and concentration of pollutants. Rapid and sensitive immunoassays such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) to monitor remediation and cleanup activities at Superfund sites will be developed. Each new method will be tested on real-world samples from monitoring studies. Field studies will be conducted when time and resources permit. The feasibility and application of immunosensors to provide field analytical methods for the dynamic monitoring of hazardous substances of interest to the EPA will also be investigated. Concern has been expressed for the potential exposure of individuals to toxic compounds who live near hazardous waste sites or who may become exposed through other means. Thus, the development of methods for measuring biomarkers for human exposure assessment studies is also addressed.
During the remainder of the Task several projects will be undertaken including:
- Complete the development and evaluation of bioanalytical methods for dioxin and related compounds
- Perform dioxin immunoassay analysis on samples from a dioxin SITE demonstration
- Comparison of an ELISA with gas chromatography (GC) for monitoring polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in soils/sediments collected from a Superfund field demonstration
- Survey of bioanalytical methods and sensor technologies for environmental monitoring
- Development of immunoaffinity chromatography sample preparations for PCBs
- Preparation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for each bioanalytical method developed
- Conduct yearly research meeting
- Conduct survey of high priority chemicals at National Priorities List (NPL) sites for bioanalysis suitability
- Develop new bioanalytical methods for hazardous compounds of public concern
- Perform PCP immunoassay analysis on soil and sediment samples from a Superfund site and compare with GC data
- Preparation of fact sheets and journal articles
The overall goal of this task is to help reduce the uncertainties in the assessment of environmental health and human exposure by better characterizing hazardous wastes through cost-effective analytical methods. Research projects are directed towards the applied development and application of immunochemical and other bioanalytical methods for a variety of toxic compounds. Based on client needs, research objectives include: immunoassay detection; immunoaffinity chromatography sample preparations; immunoassay detection coupled with efficient sample preparations such as accelerated solvent extraction; investigation of emerging bioanalytical methods for environmental monitoring; identification of target analytes for Superfund site monitoring; development of specific antibodies and immunologic reagents; field testing of methods; and a yearly research meeting. Research is providing analytical support for Superfund and EPA Regional monitoring needs. A tiered approach to project planning and initiation maximizes time and resources. Multi-year plans, overviews and clients are consulted to determine needs. Immunologic reagents are obtained through development as well as collaborations to maximize resources. Methods are developed for various matrices including soils, sediments, ground water, and biological fluids for analysis of contaminants and biomarkers of exposure.
The EPA Superfund Office is concerned about the high cost of environmental monitoring for several compounds, including the analysis of the polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and related compounds. In addition, more cost-effective and rapid methods are needed to support monitoring and human exposure assessment studies. Bioanalytical methods can be rapid and more cost-effective than instrumental methods for analyzing compounds of environmental concern such as the polychlorinated-biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins and other PCDDs. New analysical methods should be evaluated and tested on real-world environmental samples to establish performance characteristics and data quality prior to application to monitoring studies. These methods comparisons have been requested by the clients to determine the applicability of bioanalytical methods for particular monitoring studies including those conducted by the Regions and those that support various ORD dioxin projects.