New ASTM International standard helps measure nitrogen in water

A new ASTM International standard will help calculate the amount of nitrogen in water samples more efficiently. The test method (soon to be published as D8083, Test Method for Total Nitrogen, and Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN) by Calculation, in Water by High-Temperature Catalytic Combustion and Chemiluminescence Detection) was developed by ASTM International’s committee on water.

Specifically, the test method helps measure the amount of total nitrogen and total dissolved nitrogen in surface water, seawater, groundwater, wastewater, and more. The standard measures total nitrogen as a single number using high-temperature oxidation followed by chemiluminescence detection.

To purchase standards, visit the organization’s website and search by the standard designation, or contact ASTM Customer Relations. ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards.

Trump freezes EPA spending

President Trump has ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a letter to stop any spending as the administration investigates the agency, according to CNBC. This freeze comes in association with Trump campaign promises to reduce government regulations, particularly for the oil and gas industry.

The letter pauses all money movement by the EPA including grants, contracts and support of environmental research and cleanups of Superfund sites. The freeze’s affect on already approved agreements was unclear at the time of publishing.

EPA moves to ban certain aerosol degreasers and dry cleaning spot removers

The EPA is proposing to ban certain uses of the toxic chemical trichloroethylene (TCE) due to health risks when used as a degreaser and a spot removal agent in dry cleaning.

EPA identified serious risks to workers and consumers associated with TCE uses in a 2014 assessment that concluded that the chemical can cause a range of adverse health effects, including cancer, development and neurotoxicological effects, and toxicity to the liver. Specifically, EPA is proposing to prohibit manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution in commerce of TCE for use in aerosol degreasing and for use in spot cleaning in dry cleaning facilities.  EPA is also proposing to require manufacturers, processors, and distributors to notify retailers and others in their supply chains of the prohibitions.

EPA’s assessment also found risks associated with TCE use in vapor degreasing, and the agency is developing a separate proposed regulatory action to address those risks. Last week, EPA announced the inclusion of TCE on the list of the first ten chemicals to be evaluated for risk under TSCA. That action will allow EPA will evaluate the other remaining uses of the chemical. Today’s action only proposes to ban certain uses of the chemical.

Comments on the proposed rule must be received 60 days after date of publication in the Federal Register.