Organochlorine Legacy Compounds

1 888 373 0881
Tel +1 (250) 655-5800
Fax +1 (250) 655-5811
AXYS Analytical Services Ltd.
2045 Mills Road W.
Sidney BC Canada
V8L 5X2

Organochlorine Pesticides

Introduced in the 1940s, organochlorine (OC) pesticides were widely used in agriculture and pest control until research and public concern regarding the hazards of their use led to government restrictions and bans. Despite restrictions and bans on the use of many organochlorine pesticides in the 1970s and 1980s, they continue to persist in the environment today.

Organochlorine pesticides are hydrocarbon compounds containing multiple chlorine substitutions. There are four main types of OC pesticides; dichlorodiphenylethanes; cyclodienes; chlorinated benzenes; and cyclohexanes. All share a similar pair of carbon rings, one ring being heavily chlorinated.

AXYS has been measuring organochlorine pesticides and metabolites since the mid 1980s. In 1996, AXYS developed and offered the first fully validated analysis of organochlorine pesticides in sediments and tissues by GC high-resolution mass spectrometry. OC pesticides can be measured by either GC/HRMS or GC/MS to achieve detection limits, from standard sample sizes, in the low ng/L range for water and ng/g range for soils, sediments, biosolids, tissue, and serum. AXYS is accredited for low and high resolution GC methods by CALA and is NELAC accredited by New York, California, and Washington.

OC pesticides are man-made insecticide, fungicide and antimicrobial chemicals. Nine of the 12 most hazardous persistent organic pollutants (POPs) targeted by the Stockholm Convention in 2001 are OC pesticides. Largely banned or restricted in the industrialized world, world-wide use of non-targeted OC pesticides like Endosulfan and Lindane continues and DDT is still employed in developing countries, primarily for mosquito and malaria control.

Organochlorine pesticides are hydrophobic, lipophilic and extremely stable. Once in the environment they are subject to global deposition processes and bioaccumulate in the food chain. Diet is the main source of human exposure, primarily through consumption of animal products where OC pesticides have bioaccumulated. Toxicity appears to be via disruption of neural function and specific disturbances vary by chemistry. Studies support both acute and chronic effects of OC pesticides, potentially via damage to reproductive and neurological functions, carcinogenesis and endocrine disruption.

AXYS specializes in measurement of organochlorine pesticides to nanogram or lower concentrations from standard sample sizes. Our specialized sampling and analytical procedures may allow for much lower detection limits and reduced sample sizes in human and sediment matrices. We deliver legally defensible data under ISO 17025 certified systems applying methods accredited by NELAP and CALA. Electronic Data Deliverables (EDD), customized for download to our clients’ relational databases, are available in addition to standard format report and full data packages.

Please contact one of our Project Managers at 1 888 373 0881 or +1 (250) 655-5800 to discuss how AXYS can support your analytical advantage.

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