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Waters Corp. announced a complete LC/MS/MS solution to confirm perchlorate in drinking and irrigation water at levels below the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) official reference dose of 0.0007 mg/kg/day. Perchlorate interferes with thyroid iodine intake, which causes hypothyroidism, a condition affecting the entire body’s metabolism.
Waters’ method combines a simple chromatographic separation technique using an anion exchange column, ammonium bicarbonate/acetonitrile mobile phase and MS/MS detection. From injection to injection, the entire process takes 15 minutes to confirm perchlorate at parts per trillion (ppt) levels.
Due to careless usage and improper disposal, water-soluble perchlorate can migrate through aquifers and surface water, contaminating soil, drinking and irrigation water. Perchlorate is cumulative, so daily consumption of food and water tainted by perchlorate creates in vitro concentrations above safe levels.
“As the toxic effects of perchlorate become better known, the need to
confirm its presence at low ppt levels grows,” said James Willis, Ph.D., director of the Chemical Analysis Market Development group at Waters Corp. “Regulatory agencies and laboratories now have a one-step method to confirm the presence of perchlorate at levels lower than what EPA mandates.”
Perchlorate has been detected in higher-than-expected levels in 35 of the 50 U.S. states. Just recently, this chemical was discovered in a well that supplies drinking water for a school in the town of Boxford, Mass. The levels detected were higher than the state’s threshold. Perchlorate is found in fertilizers and in applications such as tanning and leather finishing, rubber manufacturing, paint and enamel production, lubricant oil additives and in solid rocket propellant.