Pesticides, in minute quantities, may affect the regimen of streams, and because they may concentrate in sediments, aquatic organisms, and edible aquatic foods, their detection and their measurement in the parts-per-trillion range are considered essential.
In 1964 the U.S. Geological Survey at Menlo Park, Calif., began research on methods for monitoring pesticides in water. Two systems were selected--electron-capture gas chromatography and microcoulometric-titration gas chromatography. Studies on these systems are now in progress. This report provides current information on the development and application of an electron-capture gas chromatographic procedure. This method is a convenient and extremely sensitive procedure for the detection and measurement of organic pesticides having high electron affinities, notably the chlorinated organic pesticides. The electron-affinity detector is extremely sensitive to these substances but it is not as sensitive to many other compounds. By this method, the chlorinated organic pesticide may be determined on a sample of convenient size in concentrations as low as the parts-per-trillion range. To insure greater accuracy in the identifications, the pesticides reported were separated and identified by their retention times on two different types of gas chromatographic columns.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Identification and measurement of chlorinated organic pesticides in water by electron-capture gas chromatography