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Corporate Overview

The Standard – April 2011

Welcome to another edition of Cambridge Isotope Laboratories’ “The Standard.” As evidenced by news reports from around the world, it appears 2011 will be yet another year of remarkable environmental events, and we look forward to keeping everyone abreast of relevant issues. We hope you find our forum useful for news articles, technical updates, and other information about environmental analysis, as well as our listings of “new” and “featured” products.

We would like to invite any of you who have done interesting work utilizing isotopically labeled standards to submit an article to be used in an upcoming issue of “The Standard.” Real-world experiences, tricks of the trade, and clever uses of standards are welcomed topics that we would like to share with our followers. While not truly a “social network,” CIL requests generalized articles without being excessively self-promoting. 

New Cod Liver Oil Interlab Study Results

Recently Cambridge Isotope Laboratories organized an international interlaboratory study on two cod liver oil reference materials, one spiked with known amounts of chlorinated dioxins, furans, and PCBs, and one clean standard. Results from participating laboratories have been received and processed, and consensus values for several classes of environmental pollutants have been assigned.

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“High Purity” PCB Standards from CIL

Preparation of high quality 13C-labeled PCB congener standards has long been a specialty of Cambridge Isotope Laboratories. However, it has been recognized that even the most careful synthesis of PCB standards can yield trace impurities of dioxins, furans, and other unintentional PCB congeners. CIL has recently developed an extensive purification process to remove even these trace levels of non-ortho “dioxin-like” PCBs and dioxin and furan impurities from all 13C-labeled mono-ortho “dioxin-like” PCB standards.

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Understanding Isotopic Enrichment

Understanding the meaning of Isotopic enrichment and the effect on mass spectra is essential to understanding isotope dilution mass spectrometry. For instance, 13C12-labeled PCBs that are 99% enriched are not 99% 13C12-labeled and 1% 12C12-labeled; each carbon atom has a 99% chance of being 13C, and a 1% chance of being 12C. The resultant spectrum has peak heights based on Pascal's Triangle. Dr. Thomas Dorsey from CIL's Technical Services department explains in detail.

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Atrazine and Atrazine Metabolites

Atrazine is one of the most commonly used agricultural herbicides in the world, with high efficacy for killing broadleaf and grassy weeds. While cheap and effective, its potential harm to human health and the environment has led to increased scrutiny in the United States. Atrazine was banned from use in the European Union in 2004 due to persistent groundwater contamination. With primary concern coming from Atrazine in drinking water supplies, analytical accuracy at even ppb levels is of paramount concern.

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Stable Isotope Newsletters | Cambridge Isotope Laboratories
stable isotope, stable isotope labeled compounds, environmental contaminant standards
CIL has been ready to help with the analytical standards critical to the task of defining and resolving any major environmental contamination problems.