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NMFS scientists improve productivity with new analytical method.

A new and improved method of chemical analysis for organic contaminants has been developed by scientists of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The new method will enhance agency efforts to monitor the quality of the marine environment while maintaining analytical precision and reducing time and costs by as much as two-thirds.

The breakthrough came from research by Margaret Krahn and Donald Brown working with their associates under the direction of William MacLeod, Jr. and Sim-Lam-Chan in the Environmental Conservation Division of the NMFS Northwest Fisheries Center located in Seattle, Washington.

Usha Varanasi, Director of the Environmental Conservation Division, said "NOAA scientists have made a valuable contribution to environmental science and management." She added, "Even more savings will be realized when other agencies and groups, both public and private, successfully implement the method."

The new method separates organic molecules according to their sizes and shapes. This is accomplished during the isolation or "clean up" phase of the process involving high-pressure liquid chromatography. The new method is more precise because fewer steps are necessary and most of the steps have been automated. Further, the new method requires less time to complete, provides a capability to monitor the chromatographic conditions, and reduces the amount of highly pure solvent needed.

The development of the new method was partially funded by other NOAA offices particularly the National Status and Trends Program and the Outer Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment Program of the Office of Oceanography and Marine Assessment. This improved method promises substantial savings to NOAA programs. When fully implemented the annual savings to NOAA could amount to a million dollars or more, which would allow a much more comprehensive and definitive approach to monitoring the status of the environment.
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Title Annotation:National Marine Fisheries Service
Publication:Marine Fisheries Review
Date:Jan 1, 1989
Words:290
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