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Quantifying Trace Selenium in Seawater

The Coast at SunsetBrooks Applied Labs (BAL) is now offering the most innovative method commercially available for the quantitation of selenium in saline waters at concentrations as low as 5 ng/L (parts-per-trillion). BAL’s novel method utilizes in-line matrix component separation and preconcentration, is fully automated, and has no spectral interferences attributed to the saline matrix. Ultra-trace detection limits for selenium in saline waters (such as seawater, brackish waters, RO reject water, and brines) to support discharge requirements and investigations for estuaries, bays, near shore and open ocean, and saline lakes with unparalleled quality are now a reality.

Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is a powerful and efficient tool for the determination of low-level metals; however, the high salt content of seawater can lead to elevated method detection limits and inaccurate results. Several methods have been developed that utilize reaction-based chemistry (e.g., hydride generation and coprecipitation) to remove selenium from the saline matrix prior to analysis. Trace-level detection limits have been achieved with these methods; however, reaction-based chemistry has inherent limitations and is susceptible to interferences from elevated concentrations of common constituents found in seawater and procedural inefficiencies.

The need to improve method robustness, reduce operational costs, and increase data quality motivated BAL scientists to generate this new method to meet both our client’s needs and the needs of regulatory agencies around the world. As part of our commitment to quality, BAL’s new method has undergone extensive validation confirming both inorganic and organic molecular forms of selenium are represented in our results, making it a truly species-independent quantitative approach.

Monitoring elements at environmentally-relevant concentrations in seawater is critical for developing accurate environmental assessments and evaluating the effectiveness of various pollution controls. BAL’s improved methodology allows for an unprecedented level of data quality at concentrations as low as just a few parts-per-trillion.

If you would like to learn more about trace-level selenium quantitation in saline samples, contact us!

Brooks Applied Labs Presents at Congressional Briefing

Michelle Briscoe and Joel CreswellMichelle Briscoe, President/CEO of BAL, presented last month at a Congressional Briefing for the bi-partisan and bi-cameral Congressional Chemistry Caucus as part of a contingent from the American Council of Independent Laboratories (ACIL). The theme of the briefing was “Protecting Public Health, Safety, and the Environment: Independent Testing Laboratories and the Federal Government”. Ms. Briscoe, pictured with the moderator of the briefing, Dr. Joel Creswell, legislative aid for Rep. Lipinski (D-IL), discussed the role independent specialty laboratories play supporting governmental agencies and cutting-edge research. She provided diverse examples of how BAL was working with the EPA on method development and the FDA on characterization of toxic compounds in food, as well as how BAL supports the FDA-regulated biopharmaceutical industry through characterization of trace metals impacting commercial production of oncology drugs. Visit the BAL website for more information on any of these topics!

A Busy Month for BAL’s Road Warriors

BAL’s Technical Sales Manager, Jamie Fox, is headed to Las Vegas to attend the 2018 Department of Energy Analytical Services Program (DOE ASP) Workshop. This annual training workshop will be held from August 29-30 and covers the validity, reliability, and defensibility of environmental data services. Please contact us if you would like to learn more or connect with Jamie while he is in the area.

Business Development Director, Russ Gerads, will be on his way to Boston to attend the BioProcess International Conference & Exhibition. During this 3-day event, September 5-7, Russ will be networking, learning, and sharing his knowledge on how trace metals can impact biopharmaceutical manufacturing. If you would like to arrange a time to visit with Russ or learn more about this topic, please contact us.

Canadian Mineral AnalystsFrom September 9-13, Ben Wozniak, BAL’s Technical Services Specialist, is headed north to Trail, BC to attend the Canadian Mineral Analysts (CMA) Conference and Exhibition. While there, Ben will be presenting on the topic of “Critical Considerations for Ensuring Data Quality”. Be sure to let us know if you would like to connect!

Summer Picnic Time!

This year’s Brooks Applied Labs Summer Picnic and Camping event was again hosted at beautiful property of one of our owners north of Seattle near Darrington, WA. This is the second year in a row that BAL employees and their families were graciously invited to use this space for our Summer Picnic event. A beautiful drive up to the property takes you away from the hustle and bustle of city life and to a natural setting near the Stillaguamish River. With amazing views of the mountains, trails alongside the nearby creek, and a big open field for a slip n’ slide and water balloon fights, it made for a wonderful fun-filled day for all!