Commodities, Organic Compounds, Motor Fuels and Pesticides
In 1999, it was reported that over 70 million pounds of chemicals were released into the Commonwealth's environment and over 500 facilities managed nearly 500 million pounds of chemicals on site. Many of these materials are highly toxic in extremely low concentrations and many attempts have been made by numerous agencies to list them. To date over 500,000 chemicals are identified on these toxic chemical lists. The commodities, organic compounds, motor fuels, and pesticides laboratory extracts and analyzes the many types of known toxic organic compounds from tissue, sediment, soil, vegetation and other diverse matrices. To do this requires highly trained personnel and very complex instrumentation (i.e. gas chromatographs, high performance liquid chromatographs and mass spectrometers). Routine monitoring data obtained from this lab while testing for organic compounds in air, water, and soil are used by state and federal programs to make decisions about waste discharge, motor fuel formulation and emission levels, drinking water treatment regulations, landfill operation, fertilizer and pesticide application. This laboratory also works closely with environmental groups to evaluate decontamination efforts following accidental chemical spills. They test the formulations of pesticides, herbicides and animal remedies to ensure these products meet label guarantees. In addition, this group provides critical laboratory support to emergency responders who need to make immediate decisions to protect our environment, people, animals and property when responding to chemical spills, explosions and fires.