Eurofins Eaton Analytical >> Services >> Algal Toxins

Analysis of Taste and Odor, Algal Toxins

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undefinedTaste and Odor

In order to solve taste and odor problems in your system, you need access to rapid low-level analysis of compounds like methyl isoborneol (MIB) and geosmin. Eurofins Eaton Analytical uses only methods from consensus organizations like Standard Methods to perform these analyses.

To speed results to you anywhere in the country, we helped validate and publish Standard Methods 6040D (Solid Phase Microextraction-SPME), a method that enables us to give results in 48 hours for taste and odor compounds at levels as low as 1 ppt using samples as small as 60 ml. This means significant savings in analytical, shipping and treatment costs for you.

Algal Toxins

Cyanobacterial Toxins (otherwise known an blue-green algae cyanotoxins) have been implicated in human and animal illness and death in over 50 countries worldwide, including at least 35 U.S. States.  Human toxicoses associated with cyanotoxins most commonly occurs after exposure through drinking water or recreational activities. Eurofins Eaton Analytical has over 30 years of experience in algal identification. We are able to give precise counts and images of algal cells, providing clients with fast turnaround times and highly accurate identification.

In response to this extreme public health threat and the need for greater monitoring of these harmful algal blooms, Eurofins Eaton Analytical now offers comprehensive testing abilities for four of the most common toxins. Microcystin, Saxitoxin, Cylindrospermopsin and Anatoxin-a levels in water may now be monitored at the laboratory using a combination of immunoassays and LC-MS methods (Table below). Most of the toxins measured using an immunoassay may also be confirmed by LC-MS-MS. Hold times depend on the toxin - Anatoxin-a degrades quickly and should be analyzed as soon as possible after sampling, while Microcystin is stable for up to one month if refrigerated.

The table below shows algal toxin methods and reporting limits (in ug/L) routinely offered by Eurofins Eaton Analytical. Testing can be done as quickly as the same day (if only free toxins are desired) or in 24 hours for total toxins to include cell associated toxins.  It is possible to screen for subsets of the lists (e.g. just Microcystin-LR by LC-MS-MS with 0.5 ug/L reporting limit).


Eurofins Eaton Analytical assisted USEPA with validation of both method 545 (Anatoxin-A and Cylindrospermopsin by direct injection LC-MS-MS) and method 554 (multiple microcystins and nodularin by solid phase extraction and LC-MS-MS). Method 544 has reporting limits in the 0.01-0.05 ug/L range, well below what is needed for routine screening of these toxins.

Eurofins Eaton Analytical recommends that utilities conduct monitoring of any body of water that may have been exposed to high levels of nutrients, warmer temperatures or high light intensity and to remain aware and ready to sample should any blooms become apparent.

Algal toxins have been part of the Candidate Contaminant List (CCL3) and are likely to be included in the next round of the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR4).