ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS

DISINFECTION BYPRODUCTS (DBPs)

Disinfectants are strong oxidising agents designed to disinfect drinking water for safe human consumption.  They can however also interact with natural organic matter, bromide, iodide and other pollutants in the water to form disinfection byproducts (DBPs) harmful to human health..  The main categories of DBPs include halomethanes, haloacetic acids, haloacetonitriles and haloketones.

The most well-known DBP’s are the Trihalomethantes (THM’s). 

Our liquid-liquid extraction Gas Chromatography (GC-ECD) based testing regime includes:

  • Chloroform
  • Dibromochloromethane
  • Bromodichloromethane
  • Bromoform

PHARMACEUTICALS

Human and animal pharmaceuticals, such as antibiotics and over the counter medicines, can make their way into the environment through the sewerage system, or by direct disposal.  From here, these APIs, or active pharmaceutical ingredients, are then able to make their way back into the drinking water supply.

Liquid chromatography (LC-MS-MS-QTOF) technology is applied for the analysis of these compounds.

Our list of pharmaceutical analyses includes:

  • Atenolol
  • Carbamazepine
  • Carbamazepine 10,11-epoxide
  • Cotinine
  • Diclofenac
  • Erythromycin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Lamivudine
  • Meprobamate
  • Paracetamol (Acetaminophen)
  • Phenytoin
  • Primidone
  • Sulfamethoxazole
  • Trichloroacetate
  • Trimethoprim

LIFESTYLE COMPOUNDS

These are compounds consumed by humans, which naturally enters the wastewater network. 

These include compounds such as:

  • Caffeine and its metabolite paraxanthine,
  • The nicotine metabolite Cotinine, and
  • The artificial sweetener Sucralose, which is not broken down by the human body.

PESTICIDES, HERBICIDES & INSECTICIDES

As global agricultural production increases to sustain the increasing world population, so does the use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers across this industry.  Many of these agrochemicals are deposited in water, soil and air resources.

The need for quantification, monitoring and management of these sources of contamination is paramount in order to improve and optimise the use of these products against the need for sustainable large-scale food sources.

Our comprehensive testing regime consists of analyses done by state of the art GC-MS, as well as LC-MS-MS-QTOF systems.

GC-MS compounds include:

  • 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol
  • 2,4-DDT
  • 4,4-DDT
  • Aldrin & Dieldrin
  • Chlordane
  • Chlorpyrifos
  • DDT & Metabolites
  • Diazinon
  • Endrin
  • Ethoprophos (Mocap)
  • Heptachlor
  • Heptachlor Epoxide
  • Lindane (gamma-BHC)
  • Methoxychlor
  • Molinate
  • Pendimethalin
  • Trifluralin

LC-MS-MS-QTOF compounds include:

  • 2,4-D
  • 2,4-DB
  • Alchlor
  • Aldicarb
  • Aldicarb Sulfone
  • Aldicarb Sulfoxide
  • Ametryn
  • Amicarbazone
  • AMPA
  • Atrazine
  • Azinphos-ethyl
  • Azinphos-methyl
  • Benomyl
  • Bentazone
  • Bromacil
  • Carbendazime
  • Carbofuran
  • Chlorotoluron
  • Clofibric Acid
  • Clopyralid
  • Cyanazine
  • Dicamba
  • Dichlorprop
  • Dichlorvos
  • Dimethoate
  • Dinoseb
  • Diuron
  • Ethion
  • Fenoprop
  • Fenthion
  • Fluazifop
  • Glyphosate
  • Haloxyfop
  • Imidacloprid
  • Isoproturon
  • Linuron
  • Malathion
  • MCPA
  • MCPB
  • Mecoprop
  • Metolachlor
  • Picloram
  • Pirimicarb
  • Permethrin
  • Propazine
  • Propoxur
  • Simazine
  • Tebuthuiron
  • Terbuthylazine
  • Terbutryn
  • Thiophanate methyl
  • Toxaphene
  • Trichlorofan
  • Triclopyr

VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (VOCs)

VOCs may occur naturally, or due to human impact on the environment.  The main subgroups of VOC’s include halogenated organics, monocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, organic sulfides and sulfoxides, BTEX’s, THM’s, acetone and esters. 

VOC’s are analysed by GC-MS, and include the following scope:

  • 1,2-Dichloroethane
  • 1,2-Dibromo-3-Chloropropane (DBCP)
  • 1,2-Dibromoethane
  • 1,2-Dibromoethane (1,2-DCP)
  • 1,2-Dibromoethane (Ethylene Dibromide / EDB)
  • 1,2-Dichlorobenzene
  • 1,4-Dichlorobenzene
  • 1,2-Dichloropropane
  • 1,3-Dichloropropane
  • Benzene
  • Carbon tetrachloride
  • cis-1,2-Dichloroethene
  • Ethylbenzene
  • Hexachlorobutadiene
  • Monochlorobenzene
  • mp-Xylene
  • Naphthalene
  • o-Xylene
  • Styrene
  • Tetrachloroethene (Tetrachloroethylene)
  • Toluene
  • trans-1,2-Dichloroethene
  • Trichloroethene(Trichloroethylene)
  • Tris (2-carboxyethyl phosphine) hydrochloride
  • Vinyl Chloride
  • THMs – see Disinfection byproducts

POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS

PAH’s are very stable organic pollutants which can occur naturally, but are more frequently released from human activity including coal power generation, petroleum refineries, petroleum combustion vehicles, domestic heating.  Natural sources include veld fires.  Most do not easily dissolve in water, and subsequently remain in water sources.  They pose a mutagenic and carcinogenic treat to humans and animals.

This group includes:

  • Acenaphthene
  • Acenaphthylene
  • Anthracene
  • Benzo(a)anthracene
  • Benzo(a)pyrene
  • Benzo(b&k)fluoranthene
  • Benzo(g,h,i)perylee
  • Chrysene
  • Dibenz(a,h)anthracene
  • Fluoranthene
  • Fluorene
  • Indeno(123-ck)pyrene
  • Perylene
  • Phenanthrene
  • Pyrene

STEROID HORMONES

Hormones enter environmental water sources, and eventually the drinking water supply, mostly by the discharge of sewage water into natural water sources such as rivers. While some of these may be removed as part of the traditional water treatment process, trace amounts may remain behind and end up in final drinking water, where exposure has the potential to disrupt the endocrine systems of humans, animals and aquatic life.

The following endocrine discupting compounds are analysed by Liquid chromatography (LC-MS-MS-QTOF):

  • Bisphenol-A (an environmental hormone with estrogenic properties)
  • Estradiol
  • Estriol
  • Estrone
  • Ethynylestradiol
  • Progesterone
  • Testosterone

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