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  Analytical Centers:
Metals Analysis
Inorganic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry

Metals Analysis

The Metals Analysis Center supports DEC programs including acid rain, landfill assessments, and hazardous waste investigations. Atomic absorption spectrophotometry, inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy, and the mercury cold vapor system are the current methods of analysis. Though many metals are essential to both plants and animals in trace amounts, high levels can have toxic and even fatal effects.

Mercury, a heavy metal, is ranked as one of the worst toxins to human health and ecosystems. It has a wide range of negative effects including neurotoxinimmunotoxin, endocrinetoxin, and respiratory toxin. Mercury even interferes with embryo development. Mercury is easily stored in animal tissues: Once mercury has made it into aquaticecosystems, its concentration readily increases as one progresses up the food chain. This helps to account for the high levels of mercury detected in fish.

Contacts:  Dan Needham





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