The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Response Team's Use of Field-Portable X-Ray Fluorescence Instruments for Analyzing Pb in Soils

    Published: Jan 1995

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    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (U.S. EPA) /Environmental Response Team (ERT) has used field-portable X-ray fluorescence (FPXRF) instruments extensively for analyzing lead (Pb) in soils and sediments at hazardous waste sites nationwide. The U.S. EPA/ERT has used both the Outokumpu Electronics Inc. (OEI) model X-MET 880 [1] and the Spectrace Instruments model Spectrace 9000 FPXRF spectrometers. These FPXRF analyzers have proven to be well suited for the analysis of Pb in soils. U.S. EPA QA2 data objectives have been achieved providing quick on-site multi-element analysis of large numbers of in-situ and prepared samples. Additionally, statistical evaluations of in-situ and prepared sample FPXRF analysis infer that both methods produce statistically equivalent confirmation slopes (regression coefficients).

    The on-site availability of reliable FPXRF analyses provides managers with near real-time data necessary for the guidance of critical field decisions in removal actions. Time and cost savings over the standard U.S. EPA CLP chemical methods are significant [2–4] Consequently, by cost effectively increasing sampling densities, the reliability of decisions based on spatial models delineating the extent of contamination can be increased [5].


    lead (Pb), lead in soil, X-ray fluorescence (XRF), field-portable X-ray fluorescence (FPXRF)

    Author Information:

    Bernick, MB
    Senior chemist, Roy F. Weston-REAC, Edison, NJ

    Prince, G
    Environmental scientist and chemist, U.S. EPA/Environmental Response Team, Edison, NJ

    Singhvi, R
    Environmental scientist and chemist, U.S. EPA/Environmental Response Team, Edison, NJ

    Paper ID: STP12976S

    Committee/Subcommittee: D18.99

    DOI: 10.1520/STP12976S

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