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MPHL : DEC Trace Metals Laboratory

 
 
Taiyin Wei - Supervisor
Syed Haq –Lead Scientist
 
 
Purpose
 
The Environmental Metals Section and the Bioanalytical Metals Section, units of the Metals Laboratory, perform the analyses of trace metals in drinking water, wastewater, sediments, sludge, foods, aquatic tissues, consumer products, blood, urine, and serum in support of federal and state programs and  regulations, such as MDE’s Water Quality Monitoring Program, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Superfund, and in response to CDC’s Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Response Program.
 
Instrumentation
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometer (ICP-OES)
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS)
  • Mercury Analyzer
  • Spectrophotometer – USGS I-1230-85
 
                                                                              Mercury Analyzer
 
The mercury analyzer is used to determine trace mercury levels in a wide range of non-drinking water samples and drinking water samples with a tubidity less than 1 NTU.
 
The ICP_OES is an inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry, also referred to as inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES).  The instrument id used for the detection of trace metals. It is a type of emission spectroscopy that uses the inductively coupled plasma to produce excited atoms and ions that emit electromagnetic radiation at wavelengths characteristic of a particular element. The intensity of this emission is indicative of the concentration of the element within the sample.
                              ICP-OES
 

The ICP_MS is an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. I
t is a type of mass spectrometry which is capable of detecting metals and several non-metals at concentrations as low as one part in 1012 (part per trillion). This is achieved by ionizing the sample with inductively coupled plasma and then using a mass spectrometer to separate and quantify those ions.
 
 
                              ICP-MS
    
Elements Routinely Analyzed
 
Tests are performed using a variety of wet chemistry instrumentations. Testing techniques covered in this section include:
 
 
TEST / MATRIX CONTAINER SAMPLE  SIZE PRESERVATION HOLDING TIME METHOD
Aluminum Plastic 1 L HNO3pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7 / 200.8
Antimony Plastic 1 L HNO3 pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7 / 200.8
Arsenic Plastic 1 L HNO3, pH <2 6 month EPA 200.7 / 200.8
Barium Plastic 1 L HNO3, pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7 / 200.8
Beryllium Plastic 1 L HNO3, pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7 / 200.8
Cadmium Plastic 1 L HNO3, pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7 / 200.8
Calcium Plastic 1 L HNO3, pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7
Chromium, hexavalent Plastic 300 mL 4° C, no acid 24 hours USGS I-1230-85
Chromium, hexavalent (solid) Glass 6 0 g 4° C 1 month EPA 3961A /   SW-846
Chromium Plastic 1 L HNO3, pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7 / 200.8
Cobalt Plastic 1 L HNO3, pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7 / 200.8
Copper Plastic 1 L HNO3, pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7 / 200.8
Iron Plastic 1 L HNO3, pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7
Lead Plastic 1 L HNO3, pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7 / 200.8
Magnesium Plastic 1 L HNO3, pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7
Manganese Plastic 1 L HNO3 ,pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7 / 200.8
Mercury Plastic 1 L HNO3, pH <2 28 days EPA 245.1
Molybdenum Plastic 1 L HNO3 pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7 / 200.8
Nickel Plastic 1 L HNO3 pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7 / 200.8
Potassium Plastic 1 L HNO3  pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7
Selenium Plastic 1 L HNO3 pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7 / 200.8
Silver Plastic 1 L HNO3 pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7 / 200.8
Sodium Plastic 1 L HNO3  pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7
Thallium Plastic 1 L HNO3  pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7/200.8/200.9
Vanadium Plastic 1 L HNO3  pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7 / 200.8
Zinc Plastic 1 L HNO3  pH <2 6 months EPA 200.7 / 200.8
Fish Foil (Al) na Freeze na US FDA
Soils/Sediments, Glass 50 g 4° C na, SW 846 / 3051A
TCLP (Liquid) Plastic 1 L 4° C   no acid 24 hours SW-846 / 1311
TCLP (Solid), Glass 300 g 4° C 6 months SW-846/1311
 
 
Proper measurement techniques, calibration, verification, and troubleshooting strategies for each parameter are addressed and good laboratory practices are emphasized.
 
 Potential Health Concerns and Environmental Concerns
 
Chemical analyses determine the suitability of drinking water for human consumption, effectiveness of wastewater treatment systems, and the quality of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary waters. It also analyzes samples suspected of having toxic or hazardous effects.