Alkemist Labs is alerting industry about a common pesticide testing failure

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According to Alkemist’s 2023 data, 47% of samples had levels of inorganic bromide above USP <561> limits.

Photo © iStockphoto.com/zentilia

Photo © iStockphoto.com/zentilia

Alkemist Labs (Garden Grove, CA) is raising awareness about a common failure they’ve discovered in pesticide testing. According to Alkemist’s 2023 data, 47% of samples had levels of inorganic bromide above USP <561> limits. The company explains that this is likely because it is common for some third-party labs to leave out testing of two pesticides – inorganic bromide and Dithiocarbamates – which require extra testing steps. As a result, Alkemist is advising industry test for the entire USP panel.

Alkemist explains in a press release that USP <561> lists 70 reportable compounds covering 121 individual analytes, and covering the entire panel requires four separate assays using two different instruments: two runs each of UPLC-MS/MS and APGC-MS/MS. This means more time and expense. While regulation does not require the use of the USP <561> pesticide list, the number of samples failing to meet the limits for inorganic bromide is alarming, says Alkemist.

“I can try to understand the temptation to leave those out because of the time and processing you need to run it and the expenses incurred as a result,” said Elan Sudberg, CEO of Alkemist Labs, in a press release. “You need to change over the same instrument twice, each time to search for one more analyte, which can take half a day and decrease your bottom line. But given what we are seeing, it’s imperative that companies make sure their labs are doing this screening.”

Alkemist is therefore advising companies to ensure their pesticide testing reports include inorganic bromide and Dithiocarbamates measured and reported as carbon disulfide. Additionally, if the phrase “USP <561> modified” appears on the results, it may indicate that the list of substances screened have been shortened.

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