A standard operation procedure and a pilot water testing for herbicides in northwest Harris County, Texas

George Vadimovich Golod, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Herbicides are used to control the growth of weeds along highways, power lines, and many other urban locations. Exposure to herbicides has been linked to adverse health outcomes. This study was initiated to pretest for the presence of herbicides in multiple water sources near intersections in a corridor in the Northwest Harris County (specifically in the Highway 6/FM 1960, North Freeway 45, US 290 and S 99 corridor). Roadside water and tap water samples were collected and analyzed for herbicides using the established Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Method 515.4: "Determination of Chlorinated Acids in Drinking Water by Liquid-Liquid Micro-extraction, Derivatization, and Fast Gas Chromatography with Electron Capture Detection." A standard operating procedure (adapted from the US EPA Method 515.4) was developed for subsequent, larger studies of environmental fate of herbicides and non-occupational exposure risks. Preliminary testing of 16 water samples was performed to pretest the existence of trace herbicides; all concentrations that were greater than the minimum reporting limits of each analyte are reported with a 99 percent confidence. This study failed to find concentrations above the limits of detection of the method in any of the samples collected on June 15, 2008. However, this does not indicate that the waters around the NW Harris County are free of herbicides and metabolites. A larger and repeated sampling in the region would be necessary to make that claim.

Subject Area

Sanitation|Environmental science

Recommended Citation

Golod, George Vadimovich, "A standard operation procedure and a pilot water testing for herbicides in northwest Harris County, Texas" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1454389.