EPA-RCA: 8270D:  Semivolatile Organic Compounds by GC/MS

  • Summary
  • Analytes
  • Revision
  • Data and Sites
Official Method Name
Semivolatile Organic Compounds by GC/MS
Current Revision
Revision 4.0, January 1998
Gas Chromatography with Mass Spectrometry Detection
Method Subcategory
Method Source
  SW-846 Update IVA
Brief Method Summary
The samples are prepared for analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) using the appropriate sample preparation (refer to Method 3500) and, if necessary, sample cleanup procedures (refer to Method 3600). The semivolatile compounds are introduced into the GC/MS by injecting the sample extract into a gas chromatograph (GC) with a narrow-bore fused-silica capillary column. The GC column is temperature-programmed to separate the analytes, which are then detected with a mass spectrometer (MS) connected to the gas chromatograph. Analytes eluted from the capillary column are introduced into the mass spectrometer via a jet separator or a direct connection. Identification of target analytes is accomplished by comparing their mass spectra with the electron impact (or electron impact-like) spectra of authentic standards. Quantitation is accomplished by comparing the response of a major (quantitation) ion relative to an internal standard using a five-point calibration curve.

NOTE: This method can be used in conjunction with the following sample preparation procedures:
Air (particulates and sorbent resin)- Method 3542
Water (including TCLP leachates) - Methods 3510, 3520, 3535
Soil/sediment - Methods 3540, 3541, 3545, 3546 3550, 3560, 3561
Waste - Methods 3540, 3541, 3545, 3546, 3550, 3560, 3561, 3580
Scope and Application
Method 8270 is used to determine the concentration of semivolatile organic compounds in extracts prepared from many types of solid waste matrices, soils, air sampling media and water samples. Direct injection of a sample may be used in limited applications.
Applicable Concentration Range
None given.
(1) Contaminants from glassware.
(2) Matrix interferences that are co-extracted with sample.
(3) Contamination by carryover can occur whenever high-concentration and low-concentration samples are sequentially analyzed. To reduce carryover, the sample syringe must be rinsed with solvent between sample injections. Whenever an unusually concentrated sample is encountered, it should be followed by the analysis of solvent to check for cross-contamination.
Quality Control Requirements
See SW-846 Method 8000 and 3500. Procedures include: validation of sample preparation, introduction, and analysis, initial demonstration of proficiency, calibration verification, evaluation of retention times, analysis of method blanks, matrix spikes, duplicates, surrogates, and laboratory control samples.
Sample Handling
Store the extract at 4 degrees C, protected from light in screw-cap vials equipped with unpierced Teflon lined septa. See SW-846, Chapter 4, Organic Analytes, Section 4.1. See SW-846 Chapter Four for information.
Maximum Holding Time
Aqueous samples - 7 days (sample), 40 days (extract). Solid samples - 14 days (sample), 40 (extract). Also, see SW-846 Chapter Four for information.
Relative Cost
$201 to $400
Sample Preparation Methods
See Method Summary