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Metals and Radiation Group

Metals are present throughout nature and their concentrations have risen significantly in the industrial age. All metals, under select circumstances, may have adverse effects on all forms of life. In fact, some may have toxic effects at parts per trillion levels. The Metals laboratory analyzes drinking and environmental waters, soil, sediment, air, fertilizers, animal feeds, limestone, fish, shellfish, blood, and food substances for metal content. This group maintains clean room technology with state-of-the-art instrumentation capable of achieving parts per trillion detection limits for 22 metals. The data obtained from this laboratory is used by health and environmental programs to evaluate compliance with waste discharge permits and environmental regulations, exposure to heavy metals, and assess animal feed, food, environmental and drinking water quality.

The Radiochemistry section maintains specialized expertise for the analysis of radionuclides that are natural occurring or may have been released accidentally or intentionally into our environment. Drinking water supplies are routinely tested for natural occurring radioactive materials that could become harmful when ingested. Environmental waters, milk, food substances, vegetation, fish, and shellfish are also collected around nuclear power stations and tested to ensure radioactive materials are not being released into the environment. This group also assists in investigations of accidental exposures to radioactive materials and screens suspicious mail and hazardous materials for radiation prior to handling.

Links:

EPA Ground Water and Drinking Water
Environmental Protection Agency

Hydride Analysis for Arsenic by AA Spectrometry Radiation Lab: Isolation of RA-226 and RA-228

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