September 14, 2011

Agilent Technologies and University of Arizona to Improve Methods for Detecting Emerging Contaminants in Water Supplies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) has announced an agreement with Dr. Shane Snyder - an internationally recognized authority on water contamination from the University of Arizona's Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering - and the university's BIO5 Institute to work together to develop ways to detect emerging contaminants in water. Emerging contaminants can include pharmaceuticals, personal care products and other substances used in everyday life.

The collaboration is expected to increase the ability of scientists to accurately detect contamination in water supplies in order to protect the environment and public health.

"The partnership with Agilent allows the University of Arizona to more effectively influence water reuse and desalination strategies by ensuring that the required water quality has been achieved for its intended use," said Dr. Snyder. "Not only will we investigate known potential threats to water quality, we will also bridge the gap between detection and health by developing methodologies that can screen water for toxicity from multiple compounds."

The concept of addressing contaminants in potable water as mixtures (as opposed to separate chemicals) is of great interest to the regulatory, scientific and public communities.

"This collaboration will allow us to share applications developed by Dr. Snyder's group in the area of water use and reuse with other researchers," said Joe Weitzel, global environmental manager, Agilent. "Agilent is committed to driving research that will ultimately benefit environmental and public health, and there is no better partner to achieve this goal than Dr. Shane Snyder."

The collaboration with Agilent provides the university and BIO5 with unique analytical capabilities. Using Agilent equipment, nearly any imaginable trace organic or inorganic contaminant can be detected and analyzed, allowing for an ultra-comprehensive analysis of water, including the development of chemical signatures unique to a particular water source. This capability, added to the already renowned water research facilities at the university, will help bridge engineering and public health to improve water usage and quality.

The collaboration will be centered at the BIO5 Institute on the University of Arizona campus, where the infrastructure for cross-cutting work combining biological and chemical research already exists.

About the UA College of Engineering
The University of Arizona College of Engineering in Tucson, Ariz., has 12 accredited academic programs offered by eight departments, including chemical and environmental engineering, where Dr. Shane Snyder has been a faculty member since 2010. The UA College of Engineering received more than $30 million in research awards in 2010. More information about the college and its research and innovation can be found at

About BIO5
The BIO5 Institute at the University of Arizona mobilizes top researchers in five disciplines - agriculture, engineering, medicine, pharmacy, and basic science - to find solutions to humanity's most pressing health and environmental challenges. Since 2001, the institute's multidisciplinary approach has resulted in improved food crops, innovative diagnostic devices, and promising new therapies. Learn more at

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in chemical analysis, life sciences, electronics and communications. The company's 18,500 employees serve customers in more than 100 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $5.4 billion in fiscal 2010. Information about Agilent is available at


  1. Sounds like a great application for Agilent products. It will interesting to see what kind of results the University team comes up with and how that information will affect public health offices.

  2. There's a great potential in this research to improve the quality of life in many aspects, since water is fundamentally used is majority of our daily lives.