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Hydrazines and NDMAs

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rocket fuel

Hydrazines by EPA 8315 (LC/MS/MS)

Hydrazines are most commonly known for their use in rocket fuels. They are highly toxic, colorless, flammable liquids with an ammonia-like odor. There are several types of hydrazines, including hydrazine, monomethylhydrazine (MMH) and 1,1-dimethylhydrazine, also known as unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH). Hydrazine is unstable and is usually handled as an aqueous solution for safety reasons.

Exposure to hydrazines can cause central nervous system effects as well as kidney and liver damage. Hydrazine and UDMH are listed as probable human carcinogens and classified under Group B2 by the U.S. EPA. UDMH has been linked to the generation of n-nitrosodimethylamine, another suspected human carcinogen.

The U.S. EPA has not established a reference concentration or dose for hydrazine; however, hydrazine is on the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 3). The California EPA has calculated a chronic inhalation reference exposure level of .0002 milligrams per cubic meter. Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories Environmental offers trace level analysis of hydrazine, methylhydrazine and 1,1-dimethylhydrazine in water and soil. We are able to obtain the following limits of quantitation (LOQ):

  Water Soil
Hydrazine 0.1 µg/L 2 ng/g
Monomethylhydrazine 0.5 µg/L 5 ng/g
1,1-Dimethylhydrazine 0.5 µg/L 5 ng/g
Monomethylhydrazine 0.5 µg/L 5 ng/g

Low-Level NDMA by EPA 1625

NDMA (n-nitrosodimethylamine) is used in the production of 1,1-dimethylhydrazine for liquid rocket fuel and in many other industrial uses such as cutting oils and disinfection products. Environmental contamination can be from liquids such as rocket fuel or formed from chemical reactions. The U.S. EPA has classified NDMA as a Class B-2 probable human carcinogen, and the California Department of Health Services (CA DHS) has established a notification level of 10 ng/L or ppt.

  Water Soil
MDL 0.5 ppt 16.67 ng/kg
LOQ 1 ppt or ng/L 33.3 ng/kg

This analysis must be prearranged with the laboratory prior to sample submission.