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ON-SITE MERCURY ANALYSIS OF SOIL AT HAZARDOUS WASTE SITES BY IMMUNOASSAY AND ASV
Gerlach, R. W., M. S. Gustin, AND J M. Van Emon. ON-SITE MERCURY ANALYSIS OF SOIL AT HAZARDOUS WASTE SITES BY IMMUNOASSAY AND ASV. APPLIED GEOCHEMISTRY 16(3):281-290, (2001).
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
Two field methods for Hg, immunoassay and anodic stripping voltammetry (ASV), that can provide onsite results for quick decisions at hazardous waste sites were evaluated. Each method was applied to samples from two Superfund sites that contain high levels of Hg; Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine site, Clear Lake, California, and Carson River Mercury site, Nevada. Two laboratory methods were used for comparison purposes; cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectrometry (CVAFS) and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The immunoassay was found to be accurate for high and low Hg concentrations compared to the 5 and 15 ug/g soil sample standards provided with it. Despite poor agreement between immunoassay and confirmatory analysis results at concentrations near the comparison standards, the immunoassay could be used as an effective screening method provided care is taken in identifying an operational screening level. The ASV method had an analytical range of 1-50 ug/g, with a CV of 15%. ASV results were comparable to CVAFS (CV=15%) and more precise than ICP-MS (CV=20%). The lower limit of quantitative results was 3 ug/g for field samples, and is attributed to uncertainty associated with sampling.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through its Office of Research and Development (ORD), funded and collaborated in the research described here. It has been subjected to the Agency's peer review system and has been approved as an EPA publication. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.