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Tekmar Talk Blog

New Study uses Multiple Mass Spectrometry Methods to Investigate E-Cigarette Toxicity

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 @ 03:48 PM

In the May 1, 2016 issue of Mass Spectrometry, researchers from Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences at the Università degli Studi di Torino in Torino, Italy published a study about the chemical compositions and quality of e-liquids used in electronic cigarettes. The study used various analytical mass spectrometry (MS) methods to test for toxicity, including liquid chromatography-tandem MS “after a study of fragmentation pathways by high-resolution electrospray ionization (ESI)-MS.”

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Tags: Purge and Trap Concentrator

Your Clothes Smell Because of VOCs, Now What?

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Wed, Jul 06, 2016 @ 05:08 PM

If you have wondered what was really making your clothes smell before you threw them into the wash, and even after they were supposedly cleaned, you are not alone. Scientists from Northrumbia University recently published a study in the Journal of Chromatography that revealed the molecules that make your socks stink. Beyond the dirt and sweat, believe it or not there are six volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that simply can’t be washed out in traditional eco-friendly cycles (68 degrees Fahrenheit). In other words, the stinky VOCs survive the wash.

 

There is no doubt that more people are paying more attention to the environmental footprint of their day-to-day activities. Washing clothes without hot water or using detergents that are less environmental friendly have become more viewed as ways to be more friendly to the environment. Scientists argue that because of this increasing awareness of the ecological impacts of washing clothes, it’s “important to understand why dirty clothes smell, in order to find the best way to clean them.” The VOCs “could be used to test the effectiveness of washing at different temperatures.”

 

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Tags: VOC, Headspace

7 truths about Genetically Modified (GMO) Crop Pesticides and the Significant Health and Environmental Risks assocated with them

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Thu, May 12, 2016 @ 03:38 PM

The pesticide known on the commercial market as Roundup is the subject of a new study published in the February 2016 issue of Environmental Health. In the study, 14 scientists raise new concerns over the health and environmental risks of the pesticide glyphosate. The pesticide is widely used on genetically modified (GMO) crops, which “were developed to be resistant to the effects of glyphosate, so the pesticide would kill the weeds, but not the plants.”

 

GMO crops were first approved in 1996, and since that time the use of glyphosate has grown nearly 15 fold. “Since the late 1970s, the volume of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) applied has increased approximately 100-fold”

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Tags: Pesticide Residue

Automating the Extraction of Illegal Dyes

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Fri, Mar 18, 2016 @ 05:16 PM

Sudan dyes are red dyes that are used in a variety of textiles, rubber, plastics, solvents, oils and shoe and floor polishes. In most countries, the dyes have been banned, but they are still found in a variety foods. In 2005, the dyes were found in more than 500 foods, including brands of Worcestershire sauces, fast-food dressings, potato chips and prepared soups. Manufacturers use the dyes to enhance and maintain the color of their food products. In August 2015, the Ghanaian Food and Drug Authority (FDA) investigated a palm oil product that contained Sudan Dye IV. The product was exported to the United Kingdom. In October, the FDA issued a warning about the Sudan dye in palm oil sold in Ghana and began to remove the product from store shelves.

 

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Tags: AutoMate, food extracts

Flint, Michigan’s Water Problem

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Tue, Jan 26, 2016 @ 01:39 PM

The mayor of Detroit has declared a state of emergency regarding Flint’s water system. In 2014, the city switched from the Detroit water system to the Flint River. Residents were quick to complain about the odor and appearance of the water, and earlier this year, a notice from the city indicated that there has been too much disinfection byproduct in Flint’s water. If used for many years, the byproduct could cause damage to the liver, kidney or central nervous system. The city’s response came as a result a warning from Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality, which stated that the city’s water was in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act for maximum contaminant levels for trihalomethanes (TTHM).

 

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Tags: drinking water

Monitoring PAHs Extracted From Soil

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Wed, Jan 20, 2016 @ 12:30 PM

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a large group of organic compounds found in the environment. PAHs consist of more than 100 chemicals that are released from burning coal, gasoline, oil, tobacco, trash and wood.

 

The National Institute of Health further describes PAHs:

 

“PAHs are found in the asphalt that covers roads and parking lots and in smoke and soot. They are also found in coal tar, coal tar pitch, and creosotes, which are by-products of distilling and heating coal and some woods. Coal tar products are used in medicines for skin diseases, such as psoriasis, and in insecticides, fungicides, and pesticides. Coal tar creosote is widely used for wood preservation. Coal tar and coal tar pitch are used for roofing, road paving, aluminum smelting, and production of coke, a coal residue used as fuel.

 

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Tags: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

PAHs Contaminants In NYC Community Gardens

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Mon, Jan 18, 2016 @ 03:26 PM

Community gardens have grown in popularity in cities and towns across the country. For some, the gardens are gathering places to reconnect with nature or to beautify communities by replacing abandoned vacant lots with thriving vegetation. For others, these gardens provide a place to meet neighbors and spend time with friends, as well as a source for food and flowers for whoever is willing to care for the plants. Despite their many benefits, may also increase the opportunity for exposure to common urban soil contaminants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons” or PAHs.

 

Researchers have found garden soils with elevated levels of PAHs in New York City’s community gardens. The researchers published their findings in an article in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

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Tags: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

EPA Proposes New Water Contaminants Monitoring Rule

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Wed, Jan 13, 2016 @ 03:04 PM

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a new rule to the Safe Drinking Water Act that would require public water systems to collect data for up to 30 new types of contaminants in tap water. The rule, which is revised every five years, includes new contaminants that are not subject to EPA standards. The EPA is only allowed by Congress to monitor up to 30 potential contaminants every five years.

 

The EPA currently monitors 114 contaminants that fall under six categories, including microorganisms, disinfectants, disinfection byproducts, inorganic and organic chemicals and radionuclides. The new rule will provide EPA and others parties with scientifically valid data about the national occurrence of selected contaminants such as cyanotoxins associated with harmful algal blooms. The data, which includes exposure occurrence, levels of exposure and population exposure, is used to help develop regulatory decisions for emerging contaminants.

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Tags: drinking water

Are Americans Walking Away from Iconic Food Brands?

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Mon, Jan 11, 2016 @ 03:03 PM

A recent headline in The New York Times called the changing eating habits of American consumers a “Seismic Shift.” Soda sales are down 25 percent since 1998, orange juice consumption is down 45 percent and sales of prepackaged foods such as cereal and frozen dinners are down 25 percent and 12 percent respectively. While sales of these grocery store staples are down, sales of fresh prepared food, as well as raw fruits and vegetables are on the rise.

 

The article cites a lack of trust in packaged goods for their lack of nutrition and high sugar and salt. “According to one recent survey, 42 percent of millennial consumers, ages 20 to 37, don’t trust large food companies, compared with 18 percent of non-millennial consumers who feel that way.” As consumers move to more fresh, raw and natural products, food manufacturers are making changes to their business strategies.

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Tags: pesticide analysis

Should You Throw Out the Fake Christmas Tree? Are the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) harming you?

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Mon, Jan 04, 2016 @ 01:57 PM

Now that the Holidays are passed, it’s time to box the lights and put away the decorations. But before you store the fake Christmas tree for the next 11 months, consider whether the tree is making you sick. Men’s Health recently questioned whether fake trees are harming our health because most of them are made from a synthetic plastic called polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Depending on whom you ask, PVC could be safe or dangerous.

 

Dr. Glenn Harnett, the Chief Medical Officer of American Family Care, the nation’s leading urgent care provider told Men’s Health that PVC is harmful “in part because PVC is a fire-resistant compound that can use metals like lead, tin or barium as stabilizers,” adding “PVC also releases gases known as volatile organic compounds, which are gases that can irritate the eyes, nose, and lungs.”

 

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Tags: VOC

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