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How to Use the ACF Pricing Guide
Updated: 3/20/2014

The “ACF Pricing “Guide” is pretty simple to use and does not require a lot of instructions.  However, to use them correctly, there are a few things you should keep in mind.  These are discussed below along with some additional information about lab prices that may be of interest to you.  We have also included several examples from previous catalogs to show how you would price the sample analyses requested.

 

Things to Keep In Mind When Using the Pricing Guide

In order to use the pricing sheets correctly, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  • The “Pricing Guide” Should Only be Used to Estimate Your Analytical Costs – While we hope the pricing guide will be valuable in helping you determine the cost of your sample analyses, we want to emphasize that they should only be used to estimate, not predict, the final cost.  Even though your estimate and the final cost may turn out to be the same, there are often unforeseen circumstances that may affect the selection of the contract lab used, the requested analysis, or other factors that may affect the final price.
  • % Moisture and % Lipid – The price for a "% Moisture" is already included in all organic and inorganic analyses for tissue and soil/sediment samples.  For "% Lipid", the price is included for all organic analyses for tissue samples.  These do not have to be requested or priced separately.  However, whether the lab performs a "% Moisture" and/or a "% Lipid" may also depend on your sample size and the number of analyses you are requesting.
  • Analyses Listed – The analyses included in the pricing guide are grouped by common analytical category, for example: “Organochlorine Pesticides”, “Petroleum Hydrocarbons”, “Herbicides”, and so forth. 
  • Price Per Matrix – This is pretty obvious, but many of the prices shown are based on the sample matrix.  If the analysis does not include a sample matrix then it is not a factor when determining the price.  For those analyses that do list a sample matrix, the lab will only perform the analysis on those matrices listed.  For example, in the Inorganic pricing sheet, Acid Volatile Sulfides (AVS) is only performed on Soil/Sediment samples.

In the organic pricing sheets, the sample matrix “Tissue” includes both plant and animal samples.   In the inorganic pricing sheets, “Tissue” is separated into “Animal Tissue” and “Plant Tissue”.

  • Price Per Sample vs. Price Per Element – The majority of the analyses included in the pricing guide show the price per sample, but not all, especially many of the inorganic analyses.  Many of the inorganic “Determination” analyses are priced based on the number of elements requested for each sample.  How the analysis is priced is shown in italics after the analysis name, if it is something other then “per sample”. 

For example, the price listed for “Hydride Generation – Determination” is per element; therefore, if you were requesting “Hydride Generation – Determination” for Lead, Selenium, and Zinc, the price at ALS would be $114 per sample ($38 per element for one sample using the 2013 prices).  Also note that this price does not include “Hydride Generation – Prep”, which would also have to be selected.

For a more information on how to select and use the inorganic methods (analyses) see the section entitled “Inorganic Prep and Determination” below under “Additional Information”.

  • Missing Prices – If the price for a given lab is missing (grayed out), then the lab does not perform that analysis (at least not on a routine bases).
  • “Call ACF” – Analyses that list the price as “Call ACF” can be performed at the lab; however, the lab decided not to commit to a specific price for the five year contract.  For these analyses, ACF (or you) we will have to contact the specific lab(s) for their current price.
  • Discount and Combo Prices – Some of the contract labs offer discount prices when certain analyses are combined.  These are indicated in the “Analysis” column of the pricing sheets as “combo prices”.  Note however, that the discounts only apply when requesting multiple analyses for the same sample.  For example, if you had 5 samples and wanted an Aliphatic Scan and Aromatic Scan on each one, you would get a discount, if your samples were analyzed at AXYS, AWH, ALS, GERG or TDI.  However, if you had 10 samples and were requesting an Aliphatic Scan for 5 of them and an Aromatic Scan for the other 5, then you would not receive a discount.

Most labs can offer a discount for certain analyses because they only have to do the sample prep once. 

  • Do Not Select the Lowest Price at Each Lab – When you indicate that you want a specific lab(s) to perform your analyses, ACF tries hard to honor your request.  However, we also try to select one lab that can perform all the analyses requested without having to split your samples, or send aliquots to other labs.  Sometimes that is not possible, especially when you request organic and inorganic analyses in the same catalog.  However, ACF rarely sends samples to multiple labs based solely on the price of the analyses.
  • Rapid Turnaround – Labs have up to 75 days to perform your requested sample analyses (actually the number of days also depends on the current backlog at the lab).  However, if you indicate that your request is a “rapid turnaround”, the lab will perform your analyses within 22 days.  Rapid turnaround requests are not free at most of our labs and may also be subject to other restrictions.  For example, your catalog normally has to have fewer than 20 samples and there may be further restrictions, depending on the number and type of analyses you are requesting.  However, no matter what your request is, or the number of samples in your catalog, our labs will certainly try to help you if they can.

The pricing sheets include the rapid turnaround cost at each lab, which is on a per sample basis, or a percentage of the total cost of the sample analyses.  So for example, if you have 5 tissue samples that you want analyzed for Organochlorines (OC) at GERG, the total cost would be $3,150 using 2013 prices ($2,150 for the OC Scan and $1,000 for the rapid turnaround request).  If you have 5 tissue samples that you want analyzed for OC, Aliphatics, and Aromatics at GERG, the cost for the rapid turnaround would still be the same ($1,000), since the cost is based on the number of samples, not the analyses.

  • Non-Routine Analysis and Special Services – If you require an analysis that is not listed on the pricing sheets, please contact us.  ACF is here to meet the needs of our clients and special services can be arranged.  If our contract labs cannot perform the analyses you need, we can often find a lab that can. 
  • Need More Help – Contact anyone at ACF for additional help.  The contact information for the ECDMS database managers is listed below.

Name

Phone Number

Email Address

Brenda Montgomery

304-876-7745

brenda_montgomeryi@fws.gov

Ken Crabb

703-358-1798

ken_crabb@fws.gov

 


Additional Information

Inorganic Prep and Determination

To correctly determine the price for many of the inorganic analysis, you need to include both a “Prep” and “Determination”.  “Prep” is the cost associated with preparing the sample for analysis and “Determination” is the actual analysis of the sample.  For many of the inorganic analysis, each of these is priced separately.  Not only do you need to select the correct “Prep” and “Determination”, but you also need to know how each is priced – per scan (number of samples) or per element (number of samples times the number of elements you plan to request).  This is explained in more detail below.

Prep Pricing - All the analyses that have a “Prep” charge are priced based on the number of samples and the sample matrix.  For example, if you had 30 samples (5 tissues, 3 plants, 10 sediments, and 12 waters) that you want analyzed for “ICP Mass Spec – Prep” at AWH for Arsenic, Selenium, Lead, and Zinc, they would be priced for “Prep” as follows:

Prices are for 2013 at the lab Alpha Analytical.

 

Analysis

 

Matrix

AWH (number
of samples)

Price
cost per sample)

 

Total Cost

ICP Mass Spec - Prep

Tissue

5

$20

$100

Plant

3

$20

$60

Sediment

10

$15

$150

Water

12

$15

$180

Determination Pricing – Pricing for the “Determination” is not as simple, since each price may be based on the number of scans (same as the number of samples), or the number of elements requested.  How the analysis is priced is written in italics after the analysis name in the pricing sheets.

Price Per Element – If the “Determination” is priced “per element”, then the number of analyses requested is the number of samples multiplied by the number of elements you are interested in.  If we use the same example as above with 30 samples to be analyzed for Arsenic, Selenium, Lead, and Zinc, the “Determination” cost will be as follows:

Prices are for 2013 at the lab Alpha Analytical.

 

Analysis

 

Matrix

AWH
(total number
of elements)

Price
(cost per element)

 

Total Cost

ICP Mass Spec – Determination (per element)

Tissue

20

$20

$400

Plant

12

$20

$240

Sediment

40

$15

$600

Water

48

$15

$720

For additional examples on using “Prep” and “Determination”, see examples 5, 6, and 8 in the section entitled “Pricing Examples” below.


How Lab Prices are Set

Every five years, ACF awards an Organic and Inorganic contract to various labs across the country.   The award process conducted by ACF is both rigorous and extensive, with the primary objective of selecting a lab that is capable of performing high quality chemical analyses.  The actual cost of the analyses is only considered at the very end of the award process, and sometimes not at all.  If ACF has more labs then are needed that meet our quality standards, then the cost of the analyses may be considered.

Contracts are awarded for a 5 year period.  Prior to awarding a contract, the perspective labs include the cost of each analysis for the entire 5 year period.  Prices are included for each calendar year of the contract.

Perspective contract labs are free to include whatever analyses they want in their proposals, but they are required to include certain “routine analysis”.  Which analyses are considered “routine” (like Metals Scan, OC Scan, PCB Congener Scan, and so forth) is set by ACF based solely on the needs of our catalog submitters.  As issues and study needs change, or new methods and analysis become available, new “routine” analyses may be added to the contracts.  However, ACF recognizes that it cannot anticipate every need, especially over a 5 year period.  Therefore, if you require an analysis that is not part of our pricing worksheets, please contact us and let us know.

Pricing Examples

All the examples listed below use the prices for calendar year 2013.

Organic Sediments Discount Example

AXYS was selected to perform the organic analyses (AWH, ALS, GERG, and TDI could have been selected as well).

Analysis Requested


Number of Samples

 

Sample Matrix

 

Analysis Requested

50

Sediments

Organochlorine Scan (OC)
Congener Specific PCB Scan
Aromatic Scan
Aliphatic Scan

      Cost of the analysis assuming AXYS is the lab of choice.


Analysis

Matrix

AXYS

Price

Total

OC Scan with PCB Scan (combo price)

Soil/Sediments

50

$486

$24,300

Aromatic Scan / Aliphatic Scan (combo price)

Soil/Sediments

50

$568

$28,400

Total

$52,700

 


Organic Tissue Example

PACE was selected as the lab of choice.  AXYS, ALS, and GERG could have been selected as well.

Analysis Requested


Number of Samples

 

Sample Matrix

 

Analysis Requested

4

Other Egg (Animal Tissue)

Organochlorine Scan
Congener Specific PCB Scan
Dioxin & Furan Full Scan

1

Whole Body (Animal Tissue)

Dioxin & Furan Full Scan

5

Other Egg (Animal Tissue)

Organochlorine Scan

2

Whole Body (Animal Tissue)

Organochlorine Scan
Congener Specific PCB Scan
Dioxin & Furan Full Scan

    Cost of the analysis assuming PACE is the lab of choice.


Analysis

Matrix

PACE

Price

Total

Organochlorine Scan (OC)

Tissue

5

$275

$1,375

OC Scan with PCB Scan (combo price)

Tissue

6

$675

$4,050

Dioxin & Furan Full Scan

Tissue

7

$640

$4,480

Total

$9,905

 



Simple Sediments Organic and Inorganic Example

Because the samples are requesting both an organic and inorganic analysis, the samples will either be sent to AWH or ALS, since they can perform both organics and inorganics, or they will be sent to two different labs.  GERG was selected for the organic analyses (several other labs could have been selected as well).  TERL will be used for the inorganic analysis.

       Analysis Requested


Number of Samples

 

Sample Matrix

 

Analysis Requested

5

Sediments

Organochlorine Scan
Aliphatics Scan
Aromatics Scan

5

Sediments

Metals Scan

5

Sediments

Grain Size
Total Organic Carbon

       Cost of the organic analysis assuming GERG is the lab of choice.


Analysis

Matrix

GERG

Price

Total

OC Scan + Aromatic Scan + Aliphatic Scan (combo price)

Soil/Sediment

5

$555

$2,775

Total

$2,775

      
Cost of the inorganic analysis assuming TERL is the lab of choice.


Analysis

Matrix

TERL

Price

Total

Metals Scan

Soil/Sediment

5

$240

$1,200

Grain Size

Soil/Sediment

5

$45

$225

Total Organic Carbon

Soil/Sediment

5

$52

$260

Total

$1,685


Inorganic and Organic Grand Total

$4,460


Complex Tissue Organic and Inorganic Example

Because the samples are requesting both an organic and inorganic analysis, the samples will to be sent to AWH or ALS, since they can perform both organics and inorganics, or two different labs.  ALS was selected for both the organic and inorganic analysis.

       Analysis Requested


Number of Samples

 

Sample Matrix

 

Analysis Requested

4

Whole Body (Animal Tissue)

Organochlorine Scan
Congener Specific PCB Scan
Metals Scan

1

Avian Egg (Animal Tissue)

Organochlorine Scan
Congener Specific PCB Scan
Mercury

1

Feces (Animal Tissue)

Organochlorine Scan
Volatile Organics
Metals Scan

5

Feces (Animal Tissue)

Organochlorine Scan
Volatile Organics

2

Whole Body (Animal Tissue)

Organochlorine Scan
Congener Specific PCB Scan
Volatile Organics

12

Avian Egg (Animal Tissue)

Organochlorine Scan
Congener Specific PCB Scan
Aromatic Scan

2

Avian Egg (Animal Tissue)

Organochlorine Scan
Congener Specific PCB Scan
Metals Scan

17

Whole Body (Animal Tissue)

Congener Specific PCB Scan
Volatile Organics

4

Feces (Animal Tissue)

Organochlorine Scan
Congener Specific PCB Scan

       Cost of the organic analysis assuming ALS is the lab of choice.


Analysis

Matrix

ALS

Price

Total

Organochlorine Scan (OC)

Tissue

6

$395

$2,370

Congener Specific PCB Scan

Tissue

17

$240

$4,080

OC Scan with PCB Scan (combo price)

Tissue

13

$575

$7,475

OC Scan + Congener Specific PCB Scan + Aromatics (combo price)

Tissue

12

$820

$9,840

Volatile Organics

Tissue

25

$160

$4,000

Total

$27,765

       Cost of the inorganic analysis assuming ALS is the lab of choice.


Analysis

Matrix

ALS

Price

Total

Metals Scan

Animal Tissue

7

$203

$1,421

Mercury by Atomic Absorption

Animal Tissue

1

$53

$53

Total

$1,474


Inorganic and Organic Grand Total

$29,239

 



Inorganic Tissue Prep and Determination Example

This is an example where the cost per element vs. the number of samples comes into play.  The “Prep” cost is per sample, but the “Determination” cost is per element.  ALS will be used for the inorganic analysis.

       Analysis Requested


Number of Samples

 

Sample Matrix

 

Analysis Requested

35

Animal Tissue

Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption for Cadmium, Lead, and Zinc.

Cost of the inorganic analysis assuming ALS is the lab of choice.  The value of “105” for the “Determination” is based on 35 samples and 3 elements (35 x 3 = 105).


Analysis

Matrix

ALS

Price

Total

Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption –Prep (per sample)

Animal Tissue

35

$45

$1,575

Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption  – Determination (per element)

Animal Tissue

105

$24

$2,625

Total

$4,200

 


Complex Mixed Matrix Inorganic and Organic Example

GERG will be the lab of choice for the organic analyses and ESI for the inorganic analyses.

Analysis Requested


Number of Samples

 

Sample Matrix

 

Analysis Requested

9

Sediments

Acid Volatile Sulfides/SEM for Cd-SEM, Cu-SEM, Ni-SEM, Pb-SEM, Zn-SEM

13

Sediments

Aromatics Scan
Organochlorines Scan
PCB Individual Aroclors

13

Sediments

Metals Scan

9

Whole Body (Animal Tissue)

Organochlorine Scan
PCB Individual Aroclors

13

Sediments

Grain Size
Total Organic Carbon

3

Invertebrate (Animal Tissue)

Aromatics Scan
Organochlorines Scan
PCB Individual Aroclors

9

Whole Body (Animal Tissue)

Metals Scan

1

Water

Aromatics Scan
Organochlorines Scan

1

Water

Metals Scan

       Cost of the organic analysis assuming GERG is the lab of choice.


Analysis

Matrix

GERG

Price

Total

Organochlorine Scan (OC)

Tissue

9

$430

$3,870

PCB Quantification of Individual Aroclors

 

25

$32

$800

OC Scan + Aromatic Scan (combo price)

Tissue

3

$630

$1,890

OC Scan + Aromatic Scan (combo price)

Soil/Sediment

13

$515

$6,695

OC Scan + Aromatic Scan (combo price)

Water

1

$490

$490

Total

$13,745

       Cost of the inorganic analysis assuming ESI is the lab of choice.


Analysis

Matrix

ESI

Price

Total

Metals Scan

Animal Tissue

9

$131.58

$1,184.22

Metals Scan

Soil/Sediment

13

$131.58

$1,710.54

Metals Scan

Water

1

$131.58

$131.58

Acid Volatile Sulfides/SEM – Prep (per sample)

Soil/Sediment

9

$102.00

$918.00

Acid Volatile Sulfides/SEM –Determination (per element)

Soil/Sediment

45

$112.20

$5,049.00

Grain Size

Soil/Sediment

13

$91.80

$1,193.40

Total Organic Carbon

Soil/Sediment

13

$81.60

$1,060.80

 

 

 

Total

$11,247.54


Inorganic and Organic Grand Total

$24,992.54

 


Simple ICP Inorganic Example

ALS will be used for the inorganic analysis.

       Analysis Requested


Number of Samples

 

Sample Matrix

 

Analysis Requested

43

Sediments

ICP Scan
Grain Size

8

Soils

ICP Scan
Grain Size

       Cost of the inorganic analysis assuming ALS is the lab of choice.


Analysis

Matrix

ALS

Price

Total

ICP Scan (OES)

Soil/Sediment

51

$75

$3,825

Grain Size

Soil/Sediment

51

$52

$2,652

 

 

 

Total

$6,477

 


Inorganic ICP-Mass Spec Example

AWH will be used for the inorganic analysis.

Analysis Requested


Number of Samples

 

Sample Matrix

 

Analysis Requested

23

Vegetation (Plant Tissue)

ICP-Mass Spec for Nickel

12

Sediments

ICP-Mass Spec for Nickel

7

Invertebrate (Animal Tissue)

ICP-Mass Spec for Nickel

12

Water

ICP-Mass Spec for Nickel

      Cost of the inorganic analysis assuming AWH is the lab of choice.


Analysis

Matrix

AWH

Price

Total

ICP-Mass Spec for 1 Analyte

Animal Tissue

7

$50

$350

ICP-Mass Spec for 1 Analyte

Plant Tissue

23

$40

$920

ICP-Mass Spec for 1 Analyte

Soil/Sediment

12

$20

$240

ICP-Mass Spec for 1 Analyte

Water

12

$15

$180

 

 

 

Total

$1,690

 


Rapid Turnaround Example

TDI will be used for the organic analysis.

      Analysis Requested


Number of Samples

 

Sample Matrix

 

Analysis Requested

10

Soils

Organochlorine Scan
Grain Size
Total Organic Carbon
Rapid Turnaround

5

Soils

Grain Size
Total Organic Carbon
Rapid Turnaround

      Cost of the inorganic analysis assuming TDI is the lab of choice.


Analysis

Matrix

TDI

Price

Total

Organochlorine Scan (OC)

Soil/Sediment

10

$381

$3,810

Grain Size

Soil/Sediment

15

$38

$570

Total Organic Carbon

Soil/Sediment

15

$38

$570

Rapid Turnaround

N/A

15

$216

$3,240

Total

$8,190