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Analyze Organic Compounds Found in Water with a New ASTM Guide

ASTM International has issued standard guidance for analyzing volatile and semivolatile organic compounds in water with modern instrumentation and data acquisition systems.

D 4128, Standard Guide for Identification and Quantitation of Organic Compounds in Water by Combined Gas Chromatography and Electron Impact Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS), applies to organic constituents of natural and treated waters. It covers all modes of sample introduction such as injection of organic extracts, direct aqueous injection, and purge and trap techniques.

“It is often necessary to identify the specific organic compounds that may be present in water samples and to determine the concentration,” says chief author John Sebroski, HES chemist III, Environmental Testing Services, Bayer Corporation, New Martinsville, W. Va.

The standard applies to solutions of 1 ng or more whose components can be introduced to a gas chromatographic column, either packed or capillary.

Approximately 10 members of the water industry developed the guide as a task group of Committee D19 on Water. They included representatives of contract laboratories, instrument vendors, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, chemists, and consultants.

The task group created the guide from ASTM Standard Practice for Identification and Quantitation of Organic Compounds in Water by Combined Gas Chromatography and Electron Impact Mass Spectrometry, which they revised to include modern GC-MS and data acquisition systems, and information on quantitation of organic compounds, says Sebroski, the task group chairman.

“While the entire document was revised and updated to reflect modern instrumentation and data acquisition systems, a new section on ‘Guidelines for Quantitation’ was added to the guide to determine the concentration of target compounds or to estimate the concentration of tentatively identified compounds,” he says. “The guide is available electronically on the ASTM Web site and will be published in the Annual Book of Standards, Volume 11.02.”

For further technical information, contact John Sebroski, Environmental Testing Services, Bayer Corporation (phone: 304/451-2227). Committee D19 meets Jan. 19-23 in Cocoa Beach, Fla. For meeting or membership details, contact Bruce Noe, manager, ASTM Technical Committees (610/832-9719). //

Copyright 2002, ASTM