United States
                           Environmental Protection
  Office of
  Solid Waste and
  Emergency Response
Publication 9380.1-15FS
EPA 540/F94/057
December 1992
                           Wood Treating  Sites:
                           Analysis of  PCP and  Creosote  Using On
                           Site  Mobile  High  Hazard  Laboratory
Office of Emergency and Remedial Response
Emergency Response Division
Environmental Response Branch MS-101
                           Quick Reference Fact Sheet
Laboratory  Gas   Chromatography/Mass  Spectrometry
(GC/MS) methods are normally employed to determine
pentachlorophenol (PCP) and creosote contaminant levels
in soil samples from hazardous waste sites.  Turnaround
time associated with off-site analysis is often too slow to
allow efficient utilization of the data. However, laboratory
GC/MS methods can be modified for field (on-site) use to
provide timely results while maintaining high data quality.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Environ-
mental Response Team (U.S. EPA/ERT), through its Re-
sponse Engineering and Analytical Contract (REAC), has
developed field GC/MS methods to provide timely, reli-
able, and cost-effective PCP and creosote analyses  needed
by site managers to guide remediation and removal activi-

U.S. EPA/ERT Field Analytical
Methods for PCP/Creosote
Gas Chromatography/Flame lonization Detector (GC/FID)
methods have been used to screen and analyze PCP and
creosote contamination in soils with 5  percent confirma-
tion by GC/MS methods, which offer good overall sensi-
tivity and positive identification for specific compounds.
Field (on-site) GC/MS  methods developed by the U.S.
EPA/ERT provide quick turnaround of results while incor-
porating rigorous  Quality  Assurance/Quality  Control
(QA/QC) procedures to ensure reliability of the analytical
data. These methods  provide shortened extraction times
while maintaining good detectability (5 mg/kg detection
limit for each compound). The soil sample is spiked with a
surrogate solution, mixed with anhydrous sodium  sulfate,
and extracted  with acetone/methylene  chloride. Prior  to
analysis, the sample is  spiked with an internal standard
mix. Samples  which  contain noticeably high concentra-
tions of creosote are diluted before  analysis. Calibration is
checked daily by analyzing a 5.0 mg/kg standard solution;
typical agreement is  15 percent  ( 0.75 mg/kg) for all
On-Site PCP and Creosote Sample

The Escambia Treating Company  operated four  wood
treating facilities located in  Pensacola, Florida; Brook-
haven,  Mississippi; Camilla, Georgia;  and Brunswick,
Georgia. Wooden telephone poles and foundation pilings
were manufactured and treated at these facilities from the
1940s  until they were closed between  1982 and  1991.
Poor handling practices in the treating facilities resulted in
PCP and creosote contamination of soil throughout each
site. Site samples also contained highly toxic dioxin waste
material which required specialized handling procedures.
Therefore,  an on-site high-hazard laboratory was  estab-
lished in May, 1991 at the Brunswick site to provide fast
turnaround on PCP and creosote analyses for dioxin con-
taminated samples. Over 1,000 samples were analyzed
with GC/FID systems in operation since the laboratory
was mobilized in 1991. GC/FID  was replaced by GC/MS
in March,  1992  and a GC/MS  method was established
which provides 24-hour turnaround for analyses of 15-20
samples per day. Since March  1992,  over  700  samples
have been analyzed by the GC/MS field method.

The utilization of  field-modified GC/MS methods has
proven  to be an  effective approach to meet contaminant
analysis needs at wood treating hazardous  waste sites.
High quality results are achieved with quick turnaround
using field-proven methodologies while incorporating rig-
orous QA/QC procedures.  On-going operations at  the
Brunswick High-Hazard field laboratory continue to pro-
vide fast, cost-effective PCP and  creosote  analyses  for
characterization  and  remediation  at  several hazardous
waste sites.

        For further information, please contact:
             Raj Singhvi (908) 321-6761
           (908) 321-6660 (24-hour hotline)
                  U.S. EPA/ERT