Pesticide Laboratory

The Pesticide laboratory section of the KDA Laboratory provides analysis of all classes of pesticides in support of the Pesticide and Fertilizer program and the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).  A pesticide is any substance that is used to destroy pests, such as weeds, insects, fungi, rodents, and even bacteria. 

Samples analyzed in the Pesticide laboratory fall into two categories; residue and formulations.  Residue samples are usually received as the result of a complaint and may be vegetation, soil, water, swabs, or other matrices.  Samples of clothing and even honey bees have been analyzed for pesticide residues.  Formulation samples consist of pesticide products and are tested to confirm they contain the amount of active ingredient indicated on the product label.  Tank mixes, or diluted concentrates, are also analyzed to see if they were diluted properly for their intended use or to verify their identity. 

The chemists and technicians in the Pesticide laboratory use analytical methods from AOAC, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pesticide registrants, and other laboratories.  Occasionally, published methodology does not exist for a particular analyte or matrix.  In these instances, the analysts must develop methods in order to analyze the sample.  Instrumentation utilized in the Pesticide laboratory includes gas and liquid chromatographs with triple-quad mass spectrometers, flame ionization, or ultraviolet wavelength detectors (GC/MS/MS, LC/MS/MS, GC/FID, and HPLC/UV).  The Pesticide laboratory staff also screen raw milk samples for pesticides to fulfill a US Food and Drug Administration requirement for the Dairy Inspection program.