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New Reference Material for Hexavalent Chromium in Contaminated Soil


Chromium, familiar to most people as the shiny, highly polished metal known simply as chrome, is widely used in many industrial processes and products ranging from an anti-corrosion agent in automobiles and stainless steel , to paints, dyes and leather tanning. Chromium can occur in a number of different chemical forms including trivalent chromium, considered to be a micronutrient, and hexavalent chromium, classified to be cancerogen.

Reprocessed waste, consisting of a mix of trivalent and hexavalent chromium containing compounds, was dumped in sites around the country during the 1940s and 1950s. In New Jersey alone, authorities have identified more than 160 sites in need of cleanup.

The new certified reference material:
To aid in reducing the uncertainty surrounding these important measurements, NIST scientists in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) have prepared and assigned certified values for Standard Reference Material (SRM) 2701, Hexavalent Chromium in Contaminated Soil, High Level.

The material for the new SRM was collected from a waste site in Hudson County, N.J.  After milling, blending, and sterilizing, scientists analyzed the samples for hexavalent chromium using several EPA-approved methods
based on species-specific isotope dilution for chromium speciation analysis designed to minimize and compensate for possible species-transformation during the analysis.

Photo: NIST scientists collected soil contaminated with hexavalent chromium, a potent carcinogen, from a site in Hudson County, N.J., to create a new Standard Reference Material (SRM). The SRM will help labs and govern- ment agencies determine the degree to which a site is contaminated and evaluate the effectiveness of cleanup efforts. 

Credit: Long, NIST

The contaminated soil SRM has been assigned certified values for hexavalent chromium, total chromium, iron and manganese as well as reference values for other elements of environmental interest including aluminum, calcium, magnesium, nickel, silicon, sulfur, titanium and vanadium.

About NIST:
Standard Reference Materials are among the most widely distributed and used products from NIST. The agency prepares, analyzes and distributes more than a thousand different materials that are used throughout the world to check the accuracy of instruments and test procedures used in manufacturing, clinical chemistry, environmental monitoring, electronics, criminal forensics and dozens of other fields.

Source: NIST (adapted)

Related information

NIST SRM 2701 Certificate of Analysis
NIST: Standard Reference Materials
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP)
Hudson County Chromate Project
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Chromate clean-up

Related EVISA Resources

Brief summary: Certified Reference Materials for Speciation Analysis
Company Database: NIST and its products
Material Database: Certified Reference Materials certified for hexavalent chromium
Link Database: Analytical methods for the speciation analysis of chromium
Link Database: All about hexavalent chromium
Link Database: Toxicity of different chromium species
Link Database: US EPA Method 6800
Journals Database: Journals related to soil science
Journals Database: Journals dealing about remediation
Brief summary: ICP-MS: A versatile detection system for speciation analysis
Brief summary: LC-ICP-MS: The most often used hyphenated system for speciation analysis
Link page: All about CRMs


Related News

NRDC, February 3, 2009: Toxic Chromium Clean-Up Battle in Jersey City Heads to Federal Court
EVISA News, September 16, 2008: New method for the determination of hexavalent chromium in anti-corrosion coatings
EVISA News, February 6, 2008: OSHA Issues Enforcement Procedures Directive for Hex Chrome Standards
EVISA News, January 15, 2008: Species-specific isotope dilution analysis has been adopted as an official method under US legislation
EVISA News, May 17, 2007: Hexavalent Chromium in Drinking Water Causes Cancer in Lab Animals
EVISA News, April 12, 2007: OSHA Agrees to Monitor Worker Exposure to Hexavalent Chromium-Containing Cement
EVISA News, October 4, 2006: OSHA Issues Hexavalent Chromium Guidance for Small Businesses
EVISA News, February 28, 2006: OSHA Issues Final Standard on Hexavalent Chromium
EVISA News, November 15, 2005: NIST/EPA/NJ DEP embark on the preparation of a soil reference materials for chromium speciation
EVISA News, March 19, 2005: Phasing out of chromated copper arsenate as a wood preservative
EVISA News, June 24, 2004: New method for measuring Cr(VI) in Leather

last time modified: May 22, 2024


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