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Consultant Vol. 6 Issue 4


Winter 2010

Maintaining Laboratory Certification or Accreditation By Craig Foxhoven, Quality Assurance Director The analytical laboratory at Braun Intertec is currently certified, accredited or pre-approved to perform a variety of analyses by several accrediting bodies and state agencies. In order to maintain this status, the laboratory continues to develop and implement procedures and systems within a quality assurance program that meets their requirements. Commercial environmental, industrial hygiene and asbestos analytical laboratories must comply with standards that are primarily based on ISO/IEC 17025:2005. This is an international standard that covers the core components of management and quality systems so laboratories submit reliable, consistent and defendable data.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recently was recognized by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) as an accreditation body. Therefore, laboratories accredited by the MDH must comply with the 2003 NELAC standard, a national standard adopted by NELAP and based largely on the ISO/IEC 17025 standard. Although each program may differ in specific details or have additional requirements, the main components that laboratories must include for regulatory compliance are: • Quality Assurance Manual • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) • Proficiency testing studies • Internal audits • External audits by the accrediting or certifying programs • Corrective action/Preventive action See REQUIREMENTS - Continued on page 2

Lead: Public Water Supplies vs. Schools By Richard Maw, Project Scientist The 1991 Lead/Copper rule requires public water suppliers to monitor for lead in drinking water to determine if it exceeds unacceptable levels. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) strongly recommends that school administrators have school buildings tested for lead. However, unless the school owns its own water system, testing is not specifically required and the possibility remains that some schools are not getting tested. The testing protocol is different for lead in drinking water systems and lead in outlets in schools. The sample size and procedures differ as follows: Under the Lead/Copper rule, the action level is 15 ppb (parts per billion) for a one-liter sample taken by public water systems at high-risk residences. If more than 10 percent of the samples taken exceed the action level, systemwide controls must be implemented to control corrosion. The 15 ppb level is a trigger for treatment rather than exposure.

The EPA recommends schools collect 250mL “first draw” samples from fountains and other outlets used for consumption. “First draw” is defined as water withdrawn from the tap after sitting undisturbed for at least eight hours. The level of lead should not exceed 20 ppb. This protocol was designed to pinpoint outlets that require immediate remediation and maximize the likelihood that the highest levels of lead are found. When collecting water samples it is important to obtain sample containers from an accredited laboratory. Do not use other containers such as canning jars or water bottles. Once the samples are collected, ship them on ice to the laboratory. The laboratory will acidify the sample upon receipt. While samples can be held up to 14 days prior to acidification without loss of lead through adsorption, it is recommended that samples be shipped to the laboratory as soon as possible.

Lab Manager’s Corner: Rush Turnaround Time A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from a contractor on a Friday afternoon who needed a 48hour turnaround on a water sampling project. That evening we arranged for a technician to visit the site the next morning and collect the sample and return it to our laboratory for analysis. Our scientists were able to work through Tom Wagner the weekend to meet the client’s required twagner@ turnaround time. Because we were able to provide results in such a short period of time, the contractor REQUIREMENTS - Continued from page 1

National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) • Airborne and Bulk Asbestos analyses

For more details about the laboratory’s accreditation or certification status for specific analytes and regulatory programs, please contact your project manager or me directly at 952.995.2630.

Braun Intertec is currently certified, accredited, or pre-approved by the programs listed below to provide the following services:

Minnesota Department of Agriculture • MDA List 1 pesticides • MDA List 2 herbicides Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources • Safe Drinking Water analyses • Clean Water analyses • Resource Conservation Recovery analyses • Underground Storage Tank analyses Iowa Department of Natural Resources • Clean Water analyses • Resource Conservation Recovery analyses • Underground Storage Tank analyses North Dakota Department of Health • Safe Drinking Water analyses • Clean Water analyses • Resource Conservation Recovery analyses American Industrial Hygiene Association • Environmental Lead by ICP • Industrial hygiene analyses by gas chromatography, ion


At Braun Intertec, we understand how valuable project timelines are and how small delays can increase your project costs. For this reason, our laboratory is available after hours and on the weekends for rush turnaround projects, as might be required for spills, cleanups and remediation projects. If you have any questions about having rush turnaround performed on your projects, please contact your project manager, or me directly at 952.995.2650, and we will work to meet your timeline requirements. - Tom Wagner chromatography, gravimetry, colorimetry, liquid chromatography, and phase contrast microscopy

• Training records • Demonstrations of capability • Document control • Method detection limit studies • Quality control charting • Traceability of chemicals and reference standards • Supervisory and management review reports • Suitable facilities and equipment • Proper reporting of analytical results • Client feedback

Minnesota Department of Health (MN-ELAP) • Safe Drinking Water analyses • Clean Water analyses • Resource Conservation Recovery analyses • Underground Storage Tank analyses

saved money and time by not having to keep equipment or employees on site longer than necessary.

Lab obtains certification for UST testing in Iowa By Rebecca Hofstad, Ph.D. Technical Director Braun Intertec’s Analytical Laboratory recently obtained certification from the Underground Storage Tank Iowa Department of Natural Resources for two methods specific to Iowa’s Underground Storage Tank (UST) program. Method OA-1 is used to determine concentrations of volatile organic compounds, including benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylenes (BTEX), in soil and water. Measurements for this method are made using gas chromatography. Soil samples are collected unpreserved, whereas water samples are preserved with hydrochloric acid. Method OA-2 is used to identify and quantify various petroleum products, including gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, mineral spirits, fuel oil and motor oil, in soil and water matrices. Analyst experience is important in comparing the results of the analysis of environmental samples with the analysis of purchased standards of petroleum products. This method also employs gas chromatography for analysis after the samples are prepared by solvent extraction using techniques that are very similar to the methods used to measure diesel range organics (DRO) by the Wisconsin method. Both soil and water samples are collected unpreserved. With the addition of these two methods, Braun Intertec’s laboratory is certified for a broad range of environmental methods in Iowa. For specific questions about sampling or analysis please contact your project manager.

Meet Rupali Sawant • Lab Analyst II •

When not at work, Rupali loves spending time with her two children, gardening and cooking butter chicken and pulav (green pea rice) to share with her colleagues.

Rupali Sawant begins each day saying, “There’s always something new to learn.” Even though she has worked as a laboratory analyst in Braun Intertec’s Analytical Laboratory for nearly three years, Rupali still enjoys learning different methods of analysis and has been assisting Rebecca Hofstad, technical director, with special testing methods required by clients, such as the state of Iowa. Rupali works in the sample prep lab, performing diesel range organics (DRO) analysis by gas chromatography and has 10 years of laboratory experience with a master’s degree in environmental chemistry from Mumbai University. Thirteen years ago, Rupali and her family moved from Mumbai, India, to Eden Prairie, MN. Early in her career at Braun Intertec, Rupali worked mostly in the prep lab. Now, however, she tends to focus on DRO projects and is responsible for several steps of the process, including extraction, analysis, instrument maintenance and data handling. She is looking forward to analyzing OA-2 samples for the state of Iowa to determine the presence of petroleum products. Her lab work was instrumental during the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit project, where she performed analyses under tight deadlines.

Coming soon to a computer near you Braun Intertec’s website ( is getting a whole new look. Our new website, debuting soon, will feature expansive content aimed at helping you make your laboratory projects even better! On the website, you’ll find information about our laboratory and capabilities, our people, the latest news and events from Braun Intertec and of course electronic versions of The Analytical Consultant.

Stringent Requirements Help Improve Safety in Children’s Products By Rebecca Hofstad, Ph.D. Technical Director Recently, there have been changes announced to regulations aimed at improving the safety of children’s products, specifically regarding lead and phthalates. The changes relate to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, which applies to specific children’s products manufactured after Feb. 10, 2009. Section 101 of the CPSIA regulates lead. Currently, products manufactured after Feb. 10, 2009 may not exceed 600 ppm (parts per million) of lead. The limit is scheduled to be reduced to 300 ppm beginning in February of 2011. Reducing the limit for lead to less than 100 ppm is under consideration in the future. Currently, third party testing by an accredited lab is required to determine lead content. For information about requirements specific to lead, see: Meanwhile, section 108 of the CPSIA regulates phthalate compounds. The purpose of this section is to prevent children from being exposed to specific phthalate compounds while playing, sleeping or eating. The act permanently bans the sale of any children’s product containing more than 0.1 percent of

di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP) or butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP). The sale of “any children’s toy that can be placed in a child’s mouth or child care article” containing more than 0.1 percent of three additional phthalate compounds is also currently prohibited on an interim basis. The additional compounds are di-n-octyl phthalate (DNOP), diisononyl phthalate (DINP) and diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP). The Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) will recommend to the CPSC whether to make the interim ban permanent for these compounds. For more information about the following, visit the listed websites: For phthalates: For children’s products: For component testing: As information regarding the CPSIA is constantly updated and may vary significantly depending on specific applications and the intended use of specific products, please consult the most current information.


Questions, Requests and Comments Thomas Wagner, 952.995.2650 Steven Albrecht, 952.995.2622 Braun Intertec Corporation 11001 Hampshire Avenue S Minneapolis, MN 55438 This newsletter contains only general information. For specific applications, please consult your engineering or environmental consultants and legal counsel.

©2010 Braun Intertec Corporation

Analytical Laboratory Holiday Hours Braun Intertec’s Analytical Laboratory is open to receive samples Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the exceptions of Dec. 24 and Dec. 31. If you have any questions, you may contact the lab at 952.995.2600. As always, if you have a special project requiring sample receipt during off hours this winter, please contact your project manager and we’ll accommodate your needs. Braun Intertec’s Analytical Laboratory 11001 Hampshire Avenue S Minneapolis, MN 55438 952.995.2600 Providingengineeringandenvironmentalsolutionssince1957