U.S. Geological Survey - Environmental Health

Organic Chemistry Research Laboratory — Sacramento, California

About the Laboratory

Chemists and hydrologists at the Organic Chemistry Research Laboratory (OCRL) develop targeted analytical methods for the quantitation of chemicals that can impact the health of organisms and humans. They have developed methods in a wide variety of environmental media; in addition to water and sediment, they also analyze a variety of tissue matrices (for example, amphibians, insects, fish, plants, pollen).

Vial Containing an Egg Sample
Vial containing an egg sample that will undergo chemical extraction so the sample can be analyized for pesticides. Photo Credit: Corey J. Sanders, USGS.
USGS Chemist Working with Samples in a Laboratory Hood
A U.S. Geological Survey chemist evaporating sample extracts in laboratory hood to concentrate pesticide residues for later analysis. The samples are process with nitrogen so they are not oxidized. Photo Credit: Michelle L. Hladik, USGS.
USGS Chemist Homogenizes a Tissue Sample into a Mortar and Pestle
U.S. Geological Survey chemist homogenizes a tissue sample before extraction for pesticide analysis. Photo Credit: Michelle L. Hladik, USGS.

Key Analytical Capabilities

  • Pesticides and Pesticide Degradates
    • Neonicotinoids
    • Pyrethroids
    • Fungicides
  • Disinfection Byproducts
  • Ability to measure environmentally relevant concentrations in small sample volumes
  • Custom method/matrix development
Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer - GCMS
Gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GCMS) used for pesticide analysis. Photo Credit: Michelle L. Hladik, USGS.

Key Instrumentation

  • Two gas chromatograph single quadrupole mass spectrometers for chemical quantitation (water and sediment)
  • Gas chromatograph triple quadrupole mass spectrometer for chemical quantitation (tissue and sediments)
  • Bioinert liquid chromatograph triple quadrupole mass spectrometer for chemical quantitation (water, sediment, tissue)
  • Extraction equipment for working with a variety of sample matrices
Liquid Chromatograph-Tandem Mass Spectrometer - Lcmsms
Liquid chromatograph-tandem mass spectrometer used for pesticide analysis. Photo Credit: Michelle L. Hladik, USGS.

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Page Last Modified: 17-Apr-2018 @ 12:13:30 PM EDT