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Perchlorate

Perchlorate (ClO4) has attracted widespread attention within the environmental community over the last decade as a potentially regulated contaminant, due to concerns that it interferes with iodide uptake in the human thyroid. The U.S. EPA Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, and Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response have focused on development of detection methods based on ion chromatographic (IC) separations using both suppressed conductivity and mass spectrometry (MS).

The U.S. FDA has been examining perchlorate occurrence in food supplies, while the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have targeted assessment of human exposure. Robust IC, IC-MS, IC-MS/MS, and LC-MS methods are now available for measurement of perchlorate in a variety of sample matrices.

  • Method 314.0: IC with suppressed conductivity detection and IonPac® AS16 column
  • Method 314.1: IC with Cryptand colum concentration/matrix elimination with dual column confirmation using the IonPac AS16 and AS20 columns
  • Method 314.2: Two-Dimensional IC using the AS20 and AS16 IonPac columns and suppressed conductivity detection
  • Method 331.0: LC-MS/MS using the IonPac AS21 column
  • Method 332.0: IC-MS and IC-MS/MS using the IonPac AS16 and AS20 columns
  • Method 6850: LC with MS and MS/MS detection using the AS20 column
  • Method 6860: IC with MS and MS/MS detection using the AS16 and AS20 columns

Dionex 2-D ion chromatography systems overcome the matrix difficulties associated with perchlorate determination in high salt source waters without requiring an MS detector.

Perchlorate is both a naturally occurring and man-made ion. Naturally occurring perchlorate is found in arid states in the southwestern U.S., as well as in nitrate fertilizer deposits in Chile and potash ore in the U.S. and Canada. It can also form naturally in the atmosphere, leading to trace levels in precipitation. Commercially, it is used as an oxidizing agent in the manufacture of rocket propellant, fireworks, and flares.