Teledyne Leeman Labs Blog

Reptiles are Ideal Indicators of Mercury Contamination

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Aug 30, 2017 9:39:06 AM

Despite its remote location, the Amazonian basin is not immune to mercury contamination. A new study published in the Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry found the presence of mercury in two species of turtles and two species of caiman. The concentration of the mercury was below World Health Organization consumption guidelines, but the mercury levels in the liver were higher than recommended for children and pregnant women.

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Tags: mercury

Does Consuming Fish Laden with Mercury Increase Risk of ALS?

Posted by Betsey Seibel on May 1, 2017 3:59:36 PM

Scientists from Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. will present the findings of a study at the American Academy of Neurology’s Annual Meeting in April that links eating fish and seafood with higher levels of mercury to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Mercury is a neurotoxic metal and the primary source of exposure for people in the United States is via consumption of methylmercury-contaminated fish. The preliminary study published by the AAN suggests that while ALS does not have a known cause, mercury could be a risk factor for the disease.

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Tags: mercury, Methylmercury

Thunderstorms and Mercury

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Oct 24, 2016 3:31:07 PM

The familiar Florida summertime clap of daily thunder signals to the kids playing ball outside that it is time to go inside for a bit.  Any U.S. Gulf Coast kid knows when the thunderstorm clouds roll overhead to get to shelter—fast--- because next to come are the threatening lightning strikes. While the lightning is a dangerous concern, the invisible pollution dangers from thunderstorms may be even worse than the lightning strikes. 

The Mercury Deposition Network has evaluated rainwater nationwide for twenty years.  It has puzzled analysts as to why the mercury levels were persistently so much higher in the southeast, especially in the Gulf Coast states of Florida and Louisiana, than those of northern states.  

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Tags: mercury

Mercury Pollution and Resource Management in Western North America

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Oct 4, 2016 3:45:15 PM

Spearheading a global group of scientists, the U.S. Geological Survey chronicled the mercury pollutants in the air, soil, sediment, plants, fish and wildlife throughout western North America.  Ecologists complied decades of data and studies to assess groupings of mercury and methylmercury.

Mercury, a heavy metal, is organically found in the rock of the earth’s crust.  It can become problematic when people, fish, and wildlife are subjected to elevated levels of mercury in its harmful configuration, methylmercury. 

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Tags: mercury, Methylmercury

Peru’s Mercury Emergency

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Jul 26, 2016 11:58:18 AM

Illegal gold mining operations in Peru have forced the Peruvian government to declare a state of emergency for the next two month. While the gold is valuable, the extracted process from surrounding areas has created a major health problem for local residents.

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Tags: mercury

Mercury Emissions Regulations

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Jul 9, 2015 3:24:13 PM

In 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency adopted new emissions standards that were directed at cutting power plant emisions of mercury and other toxic air pollutants. On June 29, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the rules with a vote of 5-4 citing the costs of the regulations to power plant operators. The EPA estimated the rules would force companies to spend $9.6 billion a year on compliance while saving Americans between $37 billion and $90 billion a year from premature death and reduced health complications. The decision reverses a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that called mercury emissions a “threat to the public and the environment.”

 

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Tags: mercury

5 Ways to Avoid Problems When Handling Mercury in a laboratory

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Jun 12, 2015 3:10:34 PM

Mercury is a common element found in the lab, particularly in thermometers, barometers, manometers and sphygmomanometers. Given the danger of mercury, many of these instruments are being phased out in place of more environmental- and health-friendly options. As far back as 1991, the Environmental Protection Agency regulated mercury out of latex paint, and in other industries such as pharmaceutical and agricultural, it is being used less and less.

 

There are three forms of mercury inorganic, organic and elemental mercury, which is most common in the lab. Each is toxic, but organic mercury, which forms in nature, contaminates fish and pollutes waters. Elemental mercury is a silvery and odorless liquid at room temperature, and is the most common source of occupational exposure. The vapors from a spill can “affects the central nervous system (CNS), producing tremors, mood changes and reduced cognitive, sensory, and motor nerve functions. The kidneys are also affected, with renal failure at extremely high doses.”[i]

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Tags: mercury

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

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