Author: John Barron – Managing Director, Reagecon Diagnostics Ltd, Shannon Free Zone, County Clare, Ireland


Nitrosamines are formed from the chemical reaction between amines and nitrogen containing products that include nitrides, nitrogen oxides or nitrous acids. The products are present extensively in the environment and in the alimentary tract of humans and mammals. These products are now classified as known carcinogens. The products may only be present in various matrices in parts per billion (ppb) or parts per trillion (ppt) levels, so a high degree of sensitivity and high-quality standards are necessary to detect their presence. Reagecon offers ready-to-use, neat (powder form) and multi element standards for nitrosamine analysis.

1.0 Introduction

Nitrosamines are products that are formed by the chemical reaction of amines and nitrogen containing agents such as nitrates, nitrogen oxides or nitrous acids. The products can be detected in air, water, soil, beverages, milk, cosmetics and in the alimentary tract of both humans and animals. Nitrosamines are now classified as known carcinogens and much attention in particular is being paid to the presence of a substance called N-Nitrosodi-Methylamine (NDMA) and several other nitrosamines in drinking water. This substance is accidently produced during a process called chloramination which is used in water treatment plants to reduce or eliminate trihalomethane levels in drinking water.

2.0 Content and Application

The occurrence of several nitrosamines including NDMA has been documented in recycled water, effluent, industrial waste water discharges and sewage sludge. All of these are sources of groundwater contamination and all have the potential to move from groundwater into the potable water system. NDMA is now considered a priority pollutant and a number of local, national and international authorities have set regulatory guidelines for this and other nitrosamines in drinking water. Apart from NDMA, N-Nitrosomethyethylamine (NMEA), N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA), N-Nitrosopyrollidine (NPYR), N-Nitrososodi-N-Propylamine (NDPA), N-Nitrosopiperidine (NPIP) and N-Nitrosodi-N- Buthylamine (NDBA) are all considered significant.

3.0 Reagecon Nitrosamine Standards

Since nitrosamines may only be present in various matrices in ppb of ppt levels a high degree of sensitivity in sample management is necessary to monitor their presence. High quality, pure and well characterised standards are an imperative for successful qualitative and quantitative detection and measurement. Reagecon offers neat, single and multi-component Standards for Nitrosamine analysis. These Standards are characterised and screened for identity, purity, stability and homogeneity. The products are prepared and certified gravimetrically and verified using GC-MS. As for all of Reagecon’s Standards and Certified Reference Materials (CRM’s), the company can produce customised Standards and Private Label options in our Global Metrology Centre in Shannon.

Reagecon’s Nitrosamine Standards can be used for instrument calibration, quality control, method validation or instrument qualification.

Pin It on Pinterest