The composition, occurrence, distribution, and possible toxicity of chemical mixtures in the environment are research concerns of the U.S. Geological Survey and others. The presence of specific chemical mixtures may serve as indicators of natural phenomena or human-caused events. Chemical mixtures may also have ecological, industrial, geochemical, or toxicological effects. Chemical-mixture occurrences vary by analyte composition and concentration. Four related computer programs have been developed by the National Water-Quality Assessment Program of the U.S. Geological Survey for research of chemical-mixture compositions, occurrences, distributions, and possible toxicities. The compositions and occurrences are identified for the user-supplied data, and therefore the resultant counts are constrained by the user’s choices for the selection of chemicals, reporting limits for the analytical methods, spatial coverage, and time span for the data supplied. The distribution of chemical mixtures may be spatial, temporal, and (or) related to some other variable, such as chemical usage. Possible toxicities optionally are estimated from user-supplied benchmark data.
The software for the analysis of chemical mixtures described in this report is designed to work with chemical-analysis data files retrieved from the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Information System but can also be used with appropriately formatted data from other sources. Installation and usage of the mixture software are documented. This mixture software was designed to function with minimal changes on a variety of computer-operating systems. To obtain the software described herein and other U.S. Geological Survey software, visit http://water.usgs.gov/software/.