U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



International Journal of Toxicology, 23:215–216, 2004; DOI: 10.1080/10915810490471370


T. R. Crompton has accomplished a significant task, summarizing the literature (up to 1998) for the determination of organic and inorganic compounds in a variety of water substrates (surface/natural water, treated water, and waste water). Overall, the book is relatively easy to read; the manuscript produced by the author contains clear tables, figures, and font. The first chapter presents a brief overview of the techniques presented in the book. The author assumes that the reader has a general understanding of chromatography and the basic components of a chromatographic system. The remainder of the book is organized into chapters by chromatographic technique. Each of these subsequent chapters is organized by the variety of compounds that have been successfully analyzed by each technique. In this way, a reader can search for information by either analyte or analytical technique. The chromatographic techniques include widely used techniques such as gas chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography (both with a variety of detectors including mass spectrometry), thin-layer chromatography, ion-pair chromatography, capillary electrophoresis, and ion exchange chromatography. Less common techniques are also presented: micelle chromatography, electrostatic ion chromatography, ion exclusion chromatography and gel permeation chromatography. Classes of compounds addressed in this text include a wide variety of naturally occurring as well as anthropogenic compounds such as metals, organometals, carboxylates, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, fertilizers, petroleumrelated compounds, detergents, plasticizers, and disinfectants. In these chapters, the author briefly summarizes the scientific literature with respect to the analytical techniques covered in chapter one. Although details are generally insufficient to permit readers to duplicate reported analyses, a truly impressive number of cited references are listed at the end of each chapter. The book concludes with a comprehensive subject index.

This book provides a good initial reference for a variety of graduate students, scientists (chemists, biologists, soil scientists, toxicologists, environmental scientists, etc.), managers, and public health professionals who may be faced with evaluating and/or developing an analytical approach for the analysis of organic and/or inorganic compounds in a water-based matrix. As most scientists work with finite resources, this book would be valuable to researchers who wish to apply their existing technology to new analytical challenges. This text would also be valuable to professionals reviewing data submissions, proposals, and/or grant applications.

Most chapters, after a brief introduction, offer a straightforward review of the literature by compound class. Many chapters contain valuable tables that compare the suitability of the analytical technique being discussed for a variety of compounds. Inclusion of detection limits and references further increase the value of these tables. For future editions of this text, additional information that would be helpful to the reader might include relative cost, sample throughput, and reproducibility.