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Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services

METALS & RADIATION

Metals Laboratory

Metals are present throughout nature and depending on their concentration; these metals can have adverse or toxic effects on human, animals and the environment. As a result of the industrial age the concentration of metals in our environment has risen significantly. However, some metals have been shown to pose adverse effects at very low levels (ie. Parts per trillion).

The Metals laboratory at DCLS analyzes a variety of sample types for metal content including but not limited to the following:

  • Drinking water
  • Environmental waters
  • Soil
  • Sediment
  • Air
  • Fertilizers
  • Animal feeds
  • Limestone
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Human materials (blood/urine)
  • Foods and beverages

The Metals group at DCLS also provides specialty metals testing by maintaining clean room technology with state-of-the-art instrumentation capable of achieving parts per trillion detection limits for 22 metals.

The laboratory data generated by the Metals laboratory at DCLS is used by health and environmental programs to:

  • Evaluate compliance with waste discharge permits and environmental regulations
  • Measure exposure(s) to heavy metals
  • Assess animal feed feeds and food commodities
  • Evaluate the quality of environmental and drinking water samples

 

Radiochemistry Laboratory

The Radiochemistry laboratory at DCLS maintains specialized expertise for the analysis of radionuclides that are either natural occurring in our environment or radionuclides that may have been released accidentally or intentionally into our environment. Capabilities include detection of alpha, beta and gamma emitters.

The types of samples that are tested at DCLS for the presence of radioactive materials include:

  • Environmental waters
  • Drinking water
  • Food and beverage (ie. Milk) substances
  • Vegetation
  • Fish and shellfish

Many of the samples submitted to DCLS are collected around nuclear power stations and the testing is conducted in order to ensure radioactive materials are not being released into the environment.  However DCLS also performs testing to assist with:

  • Investigations of accidental exposures to radioactive materials
  • Screening of suspicious mail or packages
  • Identifying the presence of radiation prior to responders handling hazardous or unknown materials.