Teledyne Leeman Labs Blog

Mercury contamination in Lake Onondaga – Part 2

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Mar 25, 2015 11:20:06 AM

The Resurgence of Onodaga Lake - Part 2

This is part two of the Onondaga Lake story, one of prosperity, pollution and revival.  In part one, we documented the collapse of the lake, detailing the years of pollution from the municipal sewage plant and surrounding factories. In this post, we will focus on what happened once rescue efforts started in the 1970s until the 21st century.

As we described in part one of this story, in the 1800s, Onondaga Lake was home to resorts, amusement parks and beaches. Over time, the lake became a dumping ground for waste. One of the company’s along the lake produced soda ash beginning in 1884. “Roughly 6 million pounds of salty wastes, made up of chloride, sodium and calcium were discharged daily to Onondaga Lake from the soda ash facility before it closed in 1986.”[i] And from 1946 to 190, experts estimate roughly 165,000 pounds of mercury were also dumped in the lake.

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Tags: Hg analysis

Teledyne Leeman Labs: A Historical Perspective

Posted by Jason Davis on Mar 20, 2015 4:08:59 PM

History of Teledyne Leeman Labs

OldLeemanLabsInclogoIn 1981 John R. Leeman and Karl Hildebrand founded Leeman Labs to produce analytical instrumentation based on the promise of Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-AES) [also referred to as Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES)] to identify and quantify the concentration of elements within a sample.

PS950ICPOESThis initial success established Leeman Labs as both an innovator and an expert in ICP-OES and lead the company to endeavor into other realms of atomic spectroscopy adding the DC Arc technique and Mercury Analysis to its line of analytical instrumentation.  In 2004 Leeman Labs was acquired by Teledyne technologies to augment Teledyne's existing laboratory and continuous monitoring instruments used in environmental applications, and complement Teledyne Tekmar's organic analysis instrumentation.

Today, its instruments can be found conducting analyses across a broad spectrum of industries and sample types.  The usefulness of Teledyne Leeman Lab’s elemental analysis instrumentation ranges from agriculture to aerospace and forensics to food in over 50 countries.

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Tags: mercury, mercury analysis, ICP-OES, ICP-AES, Leeman Labs

Mercury contamination in Lake Onondaga - Part 1

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Feb 19, 2015 4:49:00 PM

The Resurgence of Onondaga Lake

This is part one of the story about Onondaga Lake, considered at one time to be the most polluted lake in the United States. 

 

In early November 2014, Honeywell finished the dredging of Onondaga Lake, moving the lake one step closer back to a natural resource that can be used and enjoyed by the surrounding community. The lake in central New York covers more than 4.6 square miles, is one mile wide and 4.6 miles long.  The early story of Onondaga Lake is one of prosperity and growth, turned to abuse and pollution. Once considered a public treasure with popular beaches, resorts and amusement parks, the lake fell victim to industrial development and the impact of a surging population.

 

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Tags: mercury

Evolution of ICP, Part IV – 2000 to Present

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Feb 10, 2015 1:10:00 PM

The instruments being marketed today have reached a level of sophistication that would not have seemed possible 40 years ago. Though the fundamental principles of the technique have not changed, the technology has seen significant advancements, especially in the design of the ICP source, optical spectrometer and detection systems. Simultaneously, milestones in real-time elemental coverage, sample throughput and ease-of-use, continue to make it easier to reach new pinnacles in productivity and data quality.

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Tags: ICP-OES

Evolution of ICP, Part III: 1990s – The Dawn of Dual View Plasmas and Array Detectors

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Feb 3, 2015 12:39:00 PM

With the 1970s known as the birth of ICP-OES and the 1980s as the era of versatility, the decade of the 1990s was the dawn of some major breakthroughs in ICP optical spectrometry.  These breakthroughs centered on the Plasma orientation and solid state Detectors, which initiated hopes of simultaneous detection of the entire ICP spectrum. 

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Tags: ICP-OES

Evolution of ICP, Part II: 1980s – It Was All About Versatility

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Jan 27, 2015 1:28:44 PM

In part I of the Evolution of ICP, we focused on the first decade of ICP instruments, which were based on the Paschen-Rünge optical design. In part II of the blog series, we jump into the 1980s, and the next era in innovation.

The wavelength restrictions associated with the Paschen-Rünge optical design led to the development of sequential spectrometers in the early 1980s.  Most of these instruments relied on the principle of scanning a dispersive optic (typically a ruled or holographic diffraction grating) to select the specific wavelength of light corresponding to the element of interest. These instruments were extremely versatile, possessing the ability to access nearly any wavelength in the electromagnetic spectrum from 160 - 900 nm.  Their downside lay in their ability to access only one wavelength at a time (thus named sequential), resulting in slow analysis times. On an instrument of this type, a typical analysis could take several minutes to cover the 10 to 20 elements of interest. A schematic diagram of a typical scanning sequential spectrometer is shown in the schematic below:

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Tags: ICP-OES

The Evolution of Inductively Coupled Plasma - Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES) Part I: The 1970s

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Jan 22, 2015 11:34:20 AM

Since its commercial inception in 1974, ICP-OES has seen significant technological advancements over its 39-year lifespan.  In this four-part blog series, we will summarize the evolution of ICP-OES technology and show how it has come to be applied to an ever-growing amount of sample types and elements of interest, as it has matured.  Each blog post will cover the significant milestones that have occurred in ICP-OES through the past four decades.  Because the ICP-OES specialization is very much a language of its own, useful terminology will appear in bold and will be defined in an upcoming downloadable glossary of ICP-OES Terms and Definitions.

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Tags: ICP-OES

Mercury Levels in Nation’s Watersheds still need to be reduced

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Jan 13, 2015 11:09:30 AM

A report by the United States Geological Survey has taken an in-depth look at the level of mercury contamination in America’s streams. The national assessment, Mercury in the Nation’s Streams—Levels, Trends, and Implications, has found unhealthy mercury levels in 25 percent of streams with the highest concentrations in the southeast and the west. The contamination in these regions is attributed in part to the degradation caused by historic mining activities.

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Tags: Hg analysis

The Gold Rush Part V: Sources of Mercury

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Nov 24, 2014 9:48:00 AM

The Gold Rush Part V: Sources of Mercury

Part four of our mercury blog series covered the effects of mercury exposure on humans. In the final part of our series, we will focus on the sources of mercury, and briefly highlight the existing regulation designed to stop mercury from damaging the environment, wildlife ecosystems, and human lives.

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Tags: mercury

Part IV – Gold Rush: Mercury Exposure and the Human Body - Varying Risks

Posted by Jason Davis on Nov 21, 2014 9:47:37 AM

Part IV - Gold Rush Series

In part three of our Mercury blog series, we focused on the different types of Mercury. In part four, we will cover the effects of mercury on the human body.

As was described in part two of our series, mercury is a metal that is used in a variety of consumer products, from light bulbs to thermometers. While it is beneficial and useful for these applications, it is poisonous and can harm the environment, as well as any animals and humans that are exposed to it.

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Tags: mercury