An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

Environmental Sampling and Analytical Methods (ESAM) Program

SAM Acronyms and Abbreviations


ACS American Chemical Society
AOAC AOAC International (formerly the Association of Official Analytical Chemists)
APCI Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization
APHA American Public Health Association
APHL Association of Public Health Laboratories
ASM American Society for Microbiology
ASR Analytical Service Requests
ASTM ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials)
ATP Alternate test procedure
ATSDR Agency of Toxic Substances & Disease Registry
AWWA American Water Works Association


BA Bacillus anthracis
BAM Bacteriological Analytical Manual
BCYE Buffered charcoal yeast extract
BCYE GPCV Buffered charcoal yeast extract with glycine, polymyxin B, cycloheximide and vancomycin
BCYE PCV Buffered charcoal yeast extract with polymyxin B, cycloheximide and vancomycin
BEH Ethylene-bridged hybrid
BGMK Buffalo green monkey kidney
BHT Butylated hydroxytoluene
BMBL Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories
BoNT Botulinum neurotoxin
BSL Biosafety level
BTX Brevetoxin
BZ Quinuclidinyl benzilate


°C Degree Celsius
CAS RN® Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number
CBR Chemical, biological and/or radiological
CCD Charge-coupled device
CCID Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases
CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
CFSAN Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)
CHCA α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid
CLLE Continuous liquid-liquid extraction
CLP Contract Laboratory Program
CPE Cytopathic effect
cps Counts per second
CT Cycle threshold
CVAA 2-Chlorovinylarsonous acid
CVAFS Cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectrometry
CVAOA 2-Chlorovinylarsonic acid
CWA Chemical Warfare Agent


2,4-D 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid
DA Domoic acid
DAI Direct aqueous injection
DAPI 4',6-Diamidino-2-phenylindole
DAS Diacetoxyscirpenol
DAS-HG-HSA Diacetoxyscirpenol hemiglutarate human serum albumin
DAS-HS-HRP Diacetoxyscirpenol hemisuccinate horseradish peroxidase conjugate
DB-1 100% Dimethylpolysiloxane
DBPR Division of Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response
dcNEOSTX Decarbamoylneosaxitoxin
dcSTX Decarbamoylsaxitoxin
DHHS U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
DHS U.S. Department of Homeland Security
DIC Differential interference contrast
DIMP Diisopropyl methylphosphonate
DL Detection limit
DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid
2,4-DNPH 2,4-Dinitrophenylhydrazine
DOC U.S. Department of Commerce
DoD U.S. Department of Defense
DOE U.S. Department of Energy
DOT U.S. Department of Transportation
DPD N,N-Diethyl-p-phenylenediamine
DQO Data quality objective
DTPA Diethylenetriamine-pentaacetate
DVL Detection verification level


EA2192 S-2-(Diisopropylamino)ethyl methylphosphonothioic acid
EC Escherichia coli
ECD Electron capture detector
e-CFR Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
ECL Electrochemiluminescence
ED Ethyldichloroarsine
EDC 1-Ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide hydrochloride
EDEA N-Ethyldiethanolamine
EDL Estimated detection limit
EDTA Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid
EDXA Energy dispersive X-ray analysis
ELFA Enzyme-linked fluorescent immunoassay
ELISA Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
EMC Emission Measurement Center
EML Environmental Measurements Laboratory
EMMI Environmental Monitoring Methods Index
EMPA Ethyl methylphosphonic acid
EMSL Environmental Monitoring and Support Laboratory
EPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
EQL Estimated quantitation limit
ERLN Environmental Response Laboratory Network
ESI Electrospray ionization
ESI-MS-MS Electrospray ionization - tandem mass spectrometry
ETV Environmental Technology Verification


FA immunofluorescence assay
FBI U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation
FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration
FEMS Federation of European Microbiological Societies
FGC-ECD Fast gas chromatography with electron capture detection
FID Flame ionization detector
FL Fluorescence detector
FPD Flame photometric detector
FRET Forster resonance energy transfer
FRhK-4 Fetal rhesus monkey kidney
FRMAC Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center
FSIS Food Safety and Inspection Service


GA Tabun
GB Sarin
GC Gas chromatograph or Gas chromatography
GC-ECD Gas chromatography-electron capture detector
GC-FID Gas chromatography-flame ionization detector
GC-FPD Gas chromatography-flame photometric detector
GC-MS Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
GC-MS-TOF Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-time of flight
GC-NPD Gas chromatography-nitrogen-phosphorus detector
GD Soman
GE 1-Methylethyl ester ethylphosphonofluoridic acid
Ge Germanium
Ge(Li) Germanium (Lithium)
GF Cyclohexyl sarin
GFAA Graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometer or Graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometry
GTX Gonyautoxins


HASL Health and Safety Laboratory, currently known as National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL)
HAV Hepatitis A virus
HCoV Human coronavirus
HD Sulfur mustard / mustard gas; bis(2-chloroethyl) sulfide
HEPA High-efficiency particulate air
HEV Hepatitis E virus
HFBA Heptafluorobutyric anhydride
HFBI Heptafluorobutyrylimidazole
HHS U.S. Health and Human Services
HILIC Hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography
HILIC-MS-MS Hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry
HLB Hydrophilic-lipophilic-balanced
HMTD Hexamethylenetriperoxidediamine
HMX Octahydro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine
HN-1 Nitrogen mustard 1; bis(2-chloroethyl)ethylamine
HN-2 Nitrogen mustard 2; 2,2'-dichloro-N-methyldiethylamine N,N-bis(2-chloroethyl)methylamine
HN-3 Nitrogen mustard 3; tris(2-chloroethyl)amine
HPGe High purity germanium
HPLC High performance liquid chromatography
HPLC-FL High performance liquid chromatography-fluorescence
HPLC-MS High performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry
HPLC-MS-MS High performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry
HPLC-UV High performance liquid chromatography-ultraviolet
HPLC-vis High performance liquid chromatography-visible
HRP Horseradish peroxidase
HSRP Homeland Security Research Program
HTO Tritiated water
HV High volume


IC Ion chromatograph or Ion chromatography
ICLN Integrated Consortium of Laboratory Networks
ICP Intestinal contents preparation (pathogens); Inductively coupled plasma (chemistry)
ICP-AES Inductively coupled plasma – atomic emission spectrometry
ICP-MS Inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry
I.D. Inner diameter
IDL Instrument detection limit
IMPA Isopropyl methylphosphonic acid
IMS Immunomagnetic separation
IO Inorganic
IRIS Integrated Risk Information System (EPA)
ISE Ion specific electrode
ISG Impregnated silica gel
ISM02.3 Inorganic Superfund Methods Multi-Media, Multi-Concentration ISM02.3
ISO International Organization for Standardization


KHP Potassium hydrogen phthalate


L-1 Lewisite 1; 2-Chlorovinyldichloroarsine
L-2 Lewisite 2; bis(2-Chlorovinyl)chloroarsine
L-3 Lewisite 3; tris(2-Chlorovinyl)arsine
LC Liquid chromatograph or Liquid chromatography
LC-APCI-MS Liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-mass spectrometry
LC-ESI-MS Liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry
LC-ESI-MS-MS Liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry
LCMRL Lowest common minimum reporting level
LC-MS Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry
LC-MS-MS Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry
LC-PIM-MS Liquid chromatography-product ion monitoring-mass spectrometry
LC-UV Liquid chromatography-ultraviolet
LD50 Median lethal dose
LFA Lateral flow immunoassay
LFD Lateral flow device
LLD Lower limit of detection
LLOQ Lower limit of quantitation
LOD Limit of detection
LOQ Limit of quantitation
LRN Laboratory Response Network
LSC Liquid scintillation counter
LSE Liquid-solid extraction


M Molar
mAbs Monoclonal antibodies
MAE Microwave-assisted extraction
MALDI Matrix-assisted laser-desorption ionization
MALDI-TOF-MS Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry
MARLAP Multi-Agency Radiological Laboratory Analytical Protocols
MC Microcystin
MDC Minimum detectable concentration
MDCK Madin-Darby canine kidney cells
MDEA N-Methyldiethanolamine
MDL Method detection limit
MFA Monofluoroacetate
MIC Methyl isocyanate
mLD50 Mouse lethal dose
MPA Methylphosphonic acid
MRL Minimum reporting level
MRM Multiple reaction monitoring
mRNA Messenger ribonucleic acid
MS Mass spectrometer or Mass spectrometry
MS-MS Tandem mass spectrometry
MS/MSD Matrix spike/Matrix spike duplicate
MSE Microscale solvent extraction
MTBE Methyl tert-butyl ether
MW Molecular weight
MWCO Molecular weight cut-off


NA Not applicable
NaI(Tl) Thallium-activated sodium iodide
NAREL National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory
NBD chloride 7-Chloro-4-nitrobenzo-2-oxa-1,3-diazole
NCPDCID National Center for the Prevention, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases
NCRP National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements
NEMI National Environmental Methods Index
NEO Neosaxitoxins
NERL National Exposure Research Laboratory (EPA)
NHSRC National Homeland Security Research Center (EPA)
NIOSH National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
NIST National Institute of Standards and Technology
nM Nanomolar
NMAM NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods
NNSA National Nuclear Security Administration
NOD Nodularins
NPD Nitrogen-phosphorus detector
NRC U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
NRMRL National Risk Management Research Laboratory (EPA)
nS Nano siemens
NTIS National Technical Information Service
NTU Nephelometric turbidity units


OAQPS Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (EPA)
OAR Office of Air and Radiation (EPA)
OGWDW Office of Water, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (EPA)
OLEM Office of Land and Emergency Management (EPA)
ORAU Oak Ridge Associated Universities
ORD Office of Research and Development (EPA)
ORIA Office of Radiation and Indoor Air (EPA)
ORISE Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
OVS OSHA versatile sampler
OW Office of Water (EPA)


PCDDs Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins
PCDFs Polychlorinated dibenzofurans
PCR Polymerase chain reaction
PEL Permissible exposure limit
PETN Pentaerythritol tetranitrate
PFBHA O-(2,3,4,5,6-pentafluorobenzyl)-hydroxylamine
PFE Pressurized fluid extraction
PHILIS Portable High Throughput Integrated Laboratory Identification Systems
PIM Product ion monitoring
PLOS Public Library of Science
PLRP-S Polymeric reversed phase
PMPA Pinacolyl methyl phosphonic acid
1,2-PP 1-(2-Pyridyl)piperazine
ppbv Parts per billion by volume
pptv Parts per trillion by volume
PST Paralytic shellfish toxin
PTFE Polytetrafluoroethylene
PubMED U.S. National Library of Medicine (
PUF Polyurethane foam
PVC Polyvinyl chloride
PVDF Polyvinylidene fluoride


QA Quality assurance
QAP Quality assessment program
QC Quality control
QL Quantitation limit
qPCR Quantitative polymerase chain reaction


® Registered trademark
R 33 Methylphosphonothioic acid, S-[2-(diethylamino)ethyl] O-2-methylpropyl ester (VR)
RBA Receptor binding assay
RCRA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
RDX Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine
RESL Radiological and Environmental Sciences Laboratory
RFV Relative fluorescence value
RLAB Regional laboratory method
RNA Ribonucleic acid
RNAse Ribonuclease
rRNA Ribosomal ribonucleic acid
RTECS Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances
RTG Radioisotope thermoelectric generator
RT-PCR Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction
RT-qPCR Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction
RV-PCR Rapid viability-polymerase chain reaction


SAED Select area electron diffraction
SAM Selected Analytical Methods for Environmental Remediation and Recovery
SARS Severe acute respiratory syndrome
SEA Staphylococcal enterotoxin type A
SEB Staphylococcal enterotoxin type B
SEC Staphylococcal enterotoxin type C
SED Staphylococcal enterotoxin type D
SEE Staphylococcal enterotoxin type E
SET Staphylococcal enterotoxin
SIM Selective ion monitoring
SIS Selected ion storage
SM Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater
SOP Standard operating procedure
SPE Solid-phase extraction
SPR Solid-phase receptacle
SRC Syracuse Research Corporation
SRM Single reaction monitoring
SRS Savannah River National Laboratory, Savannah River Site
STEC Shiga-toxigenic E. coli
STEL Short term exposure limit
STS Sample test source
STX Saxitoxin
Stx Shiga toxin
Stx-1 Shiga toxin Type 1
Stx-2 Shiga toxin Type 2
SW Solid waste


T0 Time zero
T2O Tritium oxide
TBD To be determined
TCLP Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure
TDG Thiodiglycol
TEA Triethanolamine
TEM Transmission electron microscope or Transmission electron microscopy
TEPP Tetraethyl pyrophosphate
TETS Tetramethylenedisulfotetramine or tetramine
Tf Time final
THF Tetrahydrofuran
TIC Total ion chromatogram
TIOA Tri-isooctylamine
Unregistered trademark
1,3,5-TNB 1,3,5-Trinitrobenzene
2,4,6-TNT 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene
TO Toxic Organic
TOF Time-of-flight
TOF-MS Time-of-flight mass spectrometry
TOPO Trioctylphosphine oxide
TOXNET Toxicology Data Network
TRU Transuranic
TTX Tetrodotoxin


UF Ultrafiltration
U.S. United States
USDA U.S. Department of Agriculture
USGS U.S. Geological Survey
UV Ultraviolet


VBNC Viable but non-culturable
VC Vibrio cholerae
VCSB Voluntary Consensus Standard Body
VE Phosphonothioic acid, ethyl-, S-(2-(diethylamino)ethyl) O-ethyl ester
VG Phosphonothioic acid, S-(2-(diethylamino)ethyl) O,O-diethyl ester
vis Visible detector
VM Phosphonothioic acid, methyl-,S-(2-(diethylamino)ethyl) O-ethyl ester
VOA Volatile organic analysis
VOC Volatile organic compound
VR Methylphosphonothioic acid, S-[2-(diethylamino)ethyl] O-2-methylpropyl ester (R 33)
VX O-Ethyl-S-(2-diisopropylaminoethyl)methylphosphonothiolate


WCIT Water Contaminant Information Tool
WEF Water Environment Federation
WHO World Health Organization
WLA Water Laboratory Alliance
WSD Water Security Division (EPA, Office of Water)


YP Yersinia pestis