New Reference Material Measures Hex Chrome in Soil

Hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen only recently addressed by an OSHA exposure standard, is found in soil at numerous sites where reprocessed waste was dumped from industrial operations that produced paints, dyes, and some other products. But cleanup is tricky because both trivalent and hexavalent chromium may be present, and components in the soil can convert one form of chromium to the other, making accurate assessment difficult, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. NIST, a Commerce Department agency, announced Jan. 27 that it worked with EPA and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection on a new certified reference material that enables high-quality measurements to assist remediation efforts.

SRM 2701, Hexavalent Chromium in Contaminated Soil, High Level, was developed with use of samples from a waste site in Hudson County, N.J. NIST said the SRM will help labs and government agencies determine the degree to which sites are contaminated and evaluate the effectiveness of cleanup efforts.

NIST SRMs are used by organizations worldwide, the agency said.

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