ORNL helping EPA put instruments to the test

August 16, 2000

Manufacturers of portable instruments or test kits to detect explosives or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in soil and transformer oil will have a better idea of how well their gear works after participating in a program at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

For about 10 days starting Monday (Aug. 21), scientists from four companies will analyze about 200 samples and compare their results with those obtained through laboratory reference analyses. The program is part of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Environmental Technology Verification program, designed to accelerate the use of innovative technologies in the field. ORNL is a verification program coordinator for EPA.

"Manufacturers come away knowing how well their instrument performed," said Roger Jenkins, a group leader in ORNL's Chemical and Analytical Sciences Division. "Getting that information quickly obviously saves time and money."

Ultimately, that kind of information gained inexpensively and quickly could be a catalyst to reclaiming some of the so-called "brownfields."

Brownfields are formerly utilized industrial sites and they're common around the nation, especially in big cities. The problem, Jenkins said, is that no one knows the extent of contamination at these sites, and because soil analysis is slow and expensive, industry is reluctant to redevelop these sites.

By getting instruments to the marketplace that are accurate, inexpensive and allow people to get information quickly, those sites could again be utilized.

"Our focus is on the evaluation of field analytical technologies that are useful for site characterization and for monitoring," said Amy Dindal, also of the Chemical and Analytical Sciences Division. "This isn't a bake-off, though. Our goal is to establish the performance characteristics of these innovative technologies, not to determine which one is best."

Manufacturers participating in the program are Hybrizyme of Raleigh, N.C.; Dexsil Corp. of Hamden, Conn.; SRI Instruments of Torrance, Calif.; and Texas Instruments of Dallas.
The instrument performance verification program began at ORNL in 1997. It has been highly successful in that it provides unbiased measures of performance, which manufacturers find extremely valuable. In some cases, they've been able to improve the design of their instruments.

Performance reports will be provided to the participants and will be posted on the Web.

ORNL is a DOE multiprogram research facility operated by UT-Battelle.


If you would prefer to receive your press releases by e-mail, please send your e-mail address to news@ornl.gov

You may read other press releases from Oak Ridge National Laboratory or learn more about the lab if you have access to the Internet. You can find our information on the World Wide Web at http://www.ornl.gov/news

DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Related Polychlorinated Biphenyls Articles from Brightsurf:

Detection of PCBs and their metabolites (OH-PCBs) in the fetal brain of a Japanese macaque
This study selected the Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) as a model animal for the fetal transfer of OH-PCBs in humans, and revealed OH-PCB concentrations and their relationships in the maternal and fetal brains.

Bacteria can defuse dangerous chemical in Rassaic River
Bacteria that can help defuse highly toxic dioxin in sediments in the Passaic River - a Superfund hazardous waste site - could eventually aid cleanup efforts at other dioxin-contaminated sites around the world, according to Rutgers scientists.

Cell death in porpoises caused by environmental pollutants
Environmental pollutants threaten the health of marine mammals. This study established a novel cell-based assay using the fibroblasts of a finless porpoise stranded along the coast of the Seto Inland Sea, Japan, to better understand the cytotoxicity and the impacts of environmental pollutants on the porpoise population.

Novel bioaccumulative compounds found in marine bivalves
The present study screened known and unknown organohalogen compounds present in mussel and sediment samples from Hiroshima Bay.

Birds exposed to PCBs as nestlings show behavior changes as adults
According to a new study, Zebra Finches exposed to low levels of environmental PCBs as nestlings show changes in breeding behavior as adults.

BU finds potentially harmful air contamination near new Bedford Harbor
A new Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) study indicates that the contaminated water of New Bedford Harbor may pose an airborne health hazard for residents living nearby in Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, and New Bedford.

DDT linked to higher risk of diabetes among Asian Indian immigrants to US
Previous exposure to the pollutant DDT may contribute to the risk of diabetes among Asian Indian immigrants to the United States, according to a UC Davis study.

Prior exposure to pollutants could underlie increased diabetes risk of Indian immigrants
In 2004, the United Nations Stockholm Convention banned the production and use of many persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Environmental toxins impair immune system over multiple generations
New research shows that maternal exposure to a common and ubiquitous form of industrial pollution can harm the immune system of offspring and that this injury is passed along to subsequent generations, weakening the body's defenses against infections such as the influenza virus.

Toxic chemicals hindering the recovery of Britain's rivers
Toxic chemicals from past decades could be hindering the recovery of Britain's urban rivers, concludes a recent study by scientists from Cardiff University, the University of Exeter, and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Read More: Polychlorinated Biphenyls News and Polychlorinated Biphenyls Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.