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Environmental Sampling and Analytical Methods (ESAM) Program

Use of SAM

The information contained in SAM represents the latest step in an ongoing effort of the EPA's Homeland Security Research Program (HSRP) to provide selected analytical methods to laboratories tasked with analyzing environmental samples in support of EPA remediation and recovery efforts following an intentional or accidental homeland security-related contamination incident. The information is intended for use by EPA and EPA-contracted and -subcontracted laboratories; it also can be used by other agencies and laboratory networks, such as the Integrated Consortium of Laboratory Networks (ICLN).

At this time, not all of the methods that have been selected have been validated for the specific analyte(s) and sample type(s) for which they have been selected. These methods, however, are considered to contain the most appropriate currently available techniques, based on expert judgment. Method usability tiers are assigned to provide an indication of the applicability of the methods to address the chemistry, pathogen and biotoxin analytes (i.e., the extent to which the methods have been tested and applied for analysis of the specific analyte and sample type for which they have been selected). These usability tiers are provided in Appendix A (Chemistry), Appendix C (Pathogens) and Appendix D (Biotoxins). Unless a method states specific applicability to the analyte/sample type for which it has been selected, it should be assumed that method evaluation is needed, and adjustments may be required to accurately account for variations in analyte/sample type characteristics, environmental samples, analytical interferences, and data quality objectives (DQOs).

EPA will strive to continue development and evaluation of analytical methods and protocols, including optimization of procedures for measuring target analytes or agents in specific sample types, as appropriate. In those cases where method procedures are determined to be insufficient for a particular situation, HSRP will continue to provide technical support regarding appropriate actions. HSRP has also compiled information and published documents regarding sample collection, rapid screening/ preliminary identification equipment, and disposal of samples corresponding to the analytes and sample types addressed in SAM. This information is available in SAM Companion DocumentsSample Collection Procedures and Strategies, and Sample Collection Information Documents.

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