Advancing PCB analysis

Advancing PCB analysis: The role of certified reference materials (CRM’s) and high quality chromatography consumables

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s) pose a persistent threat to human health and the environment, necessitating robust analytical methods for accurate detection and characterisation. In the pursuit of precision, analysts rely on CRM’s and chromatography consumables to calibrate instruments, validate methods, and ensure accuracy of results.

PCBs are a group of synthetic organic chemicals that were widely used in various industrial applications, including electrical equipment, insulation materials, and hydraulic fluids, until their production was banned or severely restricted in many countries due to their toxicity and environmental persistence. Despite stringent regulations, PCB's persist in the environment, infiltrating our food chain and finding their way into our bodies through various pathways, including contaminated food, air, and dust.

Understanding the analytical landscape:
Analysing PCB’s demands sophisticated analytical techniques capable of detecting, measuring, and monitoring these compounds across diverse matrices. Critical steps in the analytical process include sample collection, extraction, clean-up, and determination, each requiring meticulous attention to detail and adherence to rigorous protocols.

The significance of certified reference materials:
CRM’s are essential tools for quality assurance in PCB analysis. Produced by ISO 17034 accredited reference material producers (RMP’s), CRM’s provide a benchmark for accuracy and reliability, enabling analysts to calibrate instruments and validate methods with confidence. By using CRM’s, laboratories can ensure the traceability and reproducibility of results, essential for regulatory compliance and research integrity.

High quality chromatography consumables: enhancing precision

Macherey Nagel GC consumables

Chromatography consumables play a critical role in PCB analysis, particularly in clean-up and determination steps. These consumables, including columns, sorbents, and solvents, contribute to the selectivity, sensitivity, and precision of analytical methods. Chromatography techniques, such as gas chromatography (GC), coupled with detectors such as mass spectrometers, offer high sensitivity and congener-specific analysis, facilitating the calculation of toxic equivalency (TEQ) and providing insights into PCB mixtures' toxicological profile.

The Role of ESSLAB:

As a trusted supplier of CRMs and chromatography consumables, ESSLAB bridges the gap between analysts and the world's leading Reference Material Producers (RMP’s). By offering a comprehensive portfolio of CRM’s and chromatography consumables, ESSLAB enable laboratories to tackle PCB analysis with confidence and precision. Analysts can rely on ESSLAB to provide expert advice and the necessary tools for method validation, instrument calibration, and result accuracy, ensuring the integrity of their analytical workflows.
Summary and Conclusions:
The responsibilities placed on scientists tasked with sampling, separating, and measuring PCB-containing samples are critical, as the decisions they make directly impact our health and well-being. By utilising Certified Reference Materials (CRM’s) and high quality chromatography consumables, analysts can significantly improve the precision, dependability, and traceability of their results.
With ESSLAB's expertise in chromatography and provision of ISO 17034 accredited CRM’s, laboratories can confidently navigate the intricate challenges of PCB analysis. This not only aids in advancing research efforts but also ensures adherence to regulatory standards and helps safeguard the environment.

Ready to take your PCB analysis to the next level?
Visit today to explore our full range of CRM’s and chromatography consumables to support your analytical methods.


EPA Method 505: Analysis of Organohalide Pesticides and Commercial Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Products in Water by Microextraction and Gas Chromatography - Revision 2.1. 
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EPA Method 608: Organochlorine Pesticides and PCBs 

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EPA Method 1628: Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Congeners in Water, Soil, Sediment, Biosolids, and Tissue by Low-resolution GC/MS using Selected Ion Monitoring 
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EPA Method 8082A: Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) by Gas Chromatography 
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Analytical Methods: Toxicological Profile for Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs):tps://

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in the Environment: Occupational and Exposure Events, Effects on Human Health, and Fertility:

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