Pesticide Testing Lab - Organochlorine Pesticides & PCBs

Organochlorine Pesticides are chlorinated hydrocarbons that were used extensively from the 1940s-1960s for pest and insect control. The group includes DDT, methoxychlor, dieldrin, chlordane, toxaphene, mirex, kepone, lindane, and benzene hexachloride.  Many organochlorine pesticides have been banned in the United States, although a few are still registered for use in this country. Organochlorine pesticides accumulate in the environment and move long distances in surface runoff or groundwater.


PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) are man-made organic chemicals that were widely used from the 1930s until they were banned in the late ’70s. Until then, PCBs were already entering the environment by their manufacture and general use, but today, improper disposal, product leaks, and the burning of debris containing PCBs all continue to contribute to the levels found in air, water and soil. Once in the environment, PCBs may remain for long periods of time and have been known to travel long distances, as they do not readily break down.


The concentrations of organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) are determined by extracting the sample then analyzing the extract using gas chromatography (GC).  The GC is configured with a dual capillary column configuration using electron capture detectors (ECD).  Each column is made using different film materials which gives the ability to confirm the presence of any detected compounds.


Method 8081 (Pesticides) and 8082 (PCBs) methods are normally used when analyzing surface and ground water as well as solid sample matrices. Method 608 includes both Pesticides and PCBs, and is used for wastewater samples. 


The following sample prep methods are commonly used: 3510, 3546, 35XX. If you have a regulated site, and the potential for a large quantity of soil samples, chances are very good that we can save you both time and money with an EPA-approved subpart-Q study. For more information, contact us.

The following Pesticides are commonly reported:

Endosulfan I
Endosulfan II
Endosulfan Sulfate
Endrin Aldehyde
Endrin Ketone
gamma-BHC (Lindane)
Heptachlor Epoxide

The following PCB Aroclors are commonly reported:




Do you have a TSCA site with the potential for a large amount of soil sampling? Chances are good that ARA can save you a lot of time and money with an EPA-approved Subpart-Q study. Contact us to learn more. 



Visit the Federal Register to learn more about

Subpart Q and Alternative Methods for PCBs



Business NH Magazine Article

PCBs: The New Asbestos? 

"...companies that choose not to test for PCBs should be aware that if a waste disposal site finds PCB contamination in  the company's waste, the company is responsible for all associated costs and liability." (READ MORE...)




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