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PCB Congeners

TestAmerica's Full Suite of PCB Congener Analyses

TestAmerica has supported the analysis of PCB congeners in air, water, soil and sediment for more than 20 years. We have worked with clients and agencies to develop methods with differing levels of sensitivity and selectivity, to meet the program requirements of projects ranging from source emissions to ambient air monitoring to complex sediment investigations.

PCB Congeners – GC/ECD

In support of our dredged material evaluation support, TestAmerica developed SW 846 Method 8082 in support of PCB Congeners. This list includes the 26 PCB Congeners identified in the 1998 USACE/USEPA Inland Testing Manual and is required in many of the programs we support for dredged material evaluations. This method is used to calculate a total PCB determination by summing the concentrations of the PCB Congeners.

PCB Congeners – Method 1668 (HRMS)

PCBs are a group of synthetic chlorinated organic compounds that are persistent in the environment.  There are 209 individual PCB congeners that have different rates of persistence, bioaccumulation and toxicity. In general, as the extent of chlorination increases, the rate of metabolism and detoxification decreases.

TestAmerica has more than 20 years of experience supporting TMDL programs, source emissions testing, ambient air monitoring, sediment projects and risk assessments using method 1668, an ultra-trace method for the identification of all 209 congeners.  Total PCB homolog concentrations can also be reported by 1668.

PCB Homologs – GC/MS

TestAmerica has also supported the analysis of PCB Homologs by EPA Method 680 for more than 20 years. The method is intended as an option for programs requiring a PCB method that can provide unambiguous total PCB results, based on the evaluation of PCBs by chlorination level.  It provides for the analysis of complex matrices containing non-PCB related signals that cannot be resolved by Method 8082.

PCB Congeners – Passive Sampling

Traditional analytical PCB congener methods for sediment materials measure suspended sediment and colloidal content along with the freely dissolved chemicals. As a result, these protocols often report levels of chemicals in water samples that far exceed their maximum solubility. Surface and pore waters contain particulate and colloidal materials. These suspended materials have significant levels of contaminants that are not bioavailable.  Current passive samplers supported include passive diffusion bags, SPMD, POM, PE, PDMS and SiREM.

SiREM has partnered with TestAmerica to offer a comprehensive passive sampling service for measuring available hydrophobic organic compounds in sediment/sediment porewater, surface water, and soil.  SiREM currently offers both “off the shelf” and customizable passive sampling services for PCBs that includes:

  • Rugged, field-tested, ready-to-deploy in situ samplers
  • PCB congener (EPA 1668A) analysis through TestAmerica
  • Processing of sampler data to provide results on a dissolved phase basis (e.g., ng PCB/L porewater).