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Anthony T. Fayo, B.S.
Mr. Fayo is the Supervisor of the Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry Laboratory within the Wadsworth Center's Laboratory of Organic Chemistry. The laboratory's function within the Department is twofold. Primarily, they are the sole validation laboratory in New York State for volatile and semi-volatile organic analytes for New York State's Environmental Proficiency Testing and Validation Unit (EPTAVU), an extension of the NYS Environmental Laboratory Approval Program. Any laboratory worldwide that seeks New York State certification to analyze volatile and semi-volatile organic analytes under USEPA methodologies must successfully complete and pass bi-annual proficiency test samples in either a liquid or solid matrix containing analytes of unknown concentrations. The laboratory’s role in this process is to confirm the preparation procedures and analyte concentrations for the multitude of proficiency ampules designed for GC/MS analysis produced by the EPTAVU lab to ensure that the integrity of the proficiency test is secured for independent laboratory analysis. Such a process requires following extremely stringent quality control criteria beyond normal USEPA requirements that many labs currently operate under. These evaluations include many different variations of sample matrices: potable water, non-potable water, solid waste and Gasoline Range Organics, each of which requires its own range of quality control criteria to successfully validate results from a multitude of samples. Additionally, the GC/MS lab is also the primary laboratory within the Wadsworth Center for analysis of all volatile and semi-volatile non-potable and solid waste samples under USEPA 8260 and USEPA 8270 methodolgies. This function also encompasses any special analysis or emergency response samples requiring immediate turnaround of results due to a public health emergency or a suspected emergency. Some historical examples the laboratory has been involved with include site monitoring of the Love Canal crisis of the 1970's, initial Ground Zero site assessment of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks of 9/11, evaluation of the effects of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in abandoned Manufactured Gasoline Plants in New York State, and the confirmation of obtained samples suspected to contain anthrax or other poisons after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. With a spectral library of over 200,000 potential organic analytes in this laboratory, they can successfully verify any contaminants found in unknown samples of a wide range of matrices and can also assist other laboratories and agencies in verifying potential health hazards through spectral identification.
Mr. Fayo's personal interests lie in the areas of the GC/MS laboratory's quality control program, the broad field of environmental health (specifically its application to GC/MS methodologies), and the continued evolution of the Wadsworth Center's Masters in Laboratory Science (MLS) Program in training the next generation of public health scientists. Within those interests, he has personally authored over a dozen Standard Operating Procedures for the laboratory as well as created over 40 multi-tab Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to fully automate the multitude of specific quality control requirements for the many different types of sample analyses performed in the laboratory. Quantitated data from samples is downloaded into the spreadsheets and automatically evaluated for numerous QC criteria required for reportable results. Collaborating with a fellow Wadsworth Center colleague, he has automated the uploading of reportable GC/MS data into the Department's CLIMS reporting system through the use of these same spreadsheets, thereby eliminating many hours of manual data input previously encountered by GC/MS staff. He also co-authored an innovative procedure to analyze Gasoline Range Organic samples by GC/MS methodology, rather than the standard GC-FID (Flame Ionization Detector) method more common with this type of analysis. GC/MS GRO analysis enables the lab to use spectral identification to effectively match each component of the gasoline chromatograph with greater accuracy rather than using retention time matching, thereby increasing the method's effectiveness for validating this type of work. As Empire State Plaza Laboratory Rotation Director for the Wadsworth Center Masters in Laboratory Science program, and also instructing a rotation on the theory and application of identifying Volatile and Semi-volatile analytes by GC/MS, Mr. Fayo works closely with the MLS students in an advisory and instructional capacity and coordinates schedules within the MLS Program related to laboratory rotation instruction for fellow Wadsworth staff at ESP.