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The existing EPA method for the analysis of toxic elements in solid matrices, SW 846 method 3050, cannot accurately or precisely determine (i.e., within SW 846 quality control limits) the concentrations of either antimony or silver and can do so for barium only at lower concentrations. An alternative method was developed by the Southern California Laboratory of the Department of Health Services that could (1) simultaneously solubilize all of the above elements over a broader range of concentrations and (2) solubilize all other regulated elements with equal or better results.
As a part of the validation process for this alternative method, an interlaboratory study was conducted. Nine public and private laboratories compared the existing method with our alternative method. The results of this study clearly show statistically significant differences between method 3050 and the alternative method proposed in this paper.
acid digestion, elemental analysis, interlaboratory study, solid waste
Public Health Chemist II, Southern California Laboratory, Los Angeles, CA
Supervising Chemist, Southern California Laboratory, Los Angeles, CA