Environmental Health - Toxic Substances Hydrology Program

EH Science Feature Email Signup

Organic Geochemistry Research Laboratory Scored High on Proficiency Testing for Glyphosate

USGS scientist preparing water samples for glyphosate analysis
USGS scientist preparing water samples for glyphosate analysis. Photo credit: Melinda Landgraf,USGS.

In a recent inter–laboratory comparison of 28 international laboratories, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Organic Geochemistry Research Laboratory (OGRL) scored A's for the analysis of glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) in this proficiency testing.

OGRL participated in a proficiency test through the General Association of Analytical Laboratories of the Environment (AGLAE). AGLAE is an accredited proficiency test provider with 20 years of experience in the field of environmental analysis. The program OGRL participated in was entitled "M55 Glyphosate, AMPA and aminotriazole in clean waters" and had participants from all over the world.

The OGRL method evaluated uses of liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) for the determination of glyphosate, its degradation product aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), and glufosinate. The method was developed and approved in 2009.

Glyphosate has become the most widely used herbicide in the world since the introduction of genetically modified (that is, RoundUp Ready) corn and soybeans and is a common contaminant in surface water. OGRL has been analyzing and studying glyphosate and it’s degradate AMPA in environmental water samples since 2001 and has analyzed over 8,000 samples.

Analytical Method

Determination of Glyphosate, its Degradation Product Aminomethylphosphonic Acid, and Glufosinate, in Water by Isotope Dilution and Online Solid–Phase Extraction and Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry: USGS Techniques and Methods, book 5, chap. A10, 32 p.

Environmental Occurrence of Glyphosate

Occurrence and fate of the herbicide glyphosate and its degradate aminomethylphosphonic acid in the atmosphere: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 2011, v. 30, p. 548—555.

Concentrations of glyphosate, its degradation product, aminomethylphosphonic acid, and glufosinate in ground–and surface–water, rainfall, and soil samples collected in the United States, 2001–06: USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2007–5122, 111 p.

About OGRL

The Organic Geochemistry Research Laboratory is a multidisciplinary program that focuses on contributing new knowledge on the distribution, fate, transport, and effects of new and understudied organic compounds that are suspected of causing undesired effects on human health and (or) ecosystems. OGRL is located in the USGS Kansas Water Science Center in Lawrence Kansas.

More Information

This article was featured as an article in the USGS GeoHealth Newsletter, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2015

Related Science Features


More Science Features


USGS Home Water Land Resources Science Systems Ecosystems Energy and Minerals Environmental Health Hazards

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page URL: toxics.usgs.gov/highlights/2015-01-05-ogrl_glyphosate.html
Page Content Contact Information: webmaster@toxics.usgs.gov
Page Last Modified: 27-Jun-2018 @ 07:15:42 PM EDT