Teledyne Leeman Labs Blog

Mercury Contamination Causing Major Health Problems in Birds - Need for Mercury analysis in water and food

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Oct 1, 2014 2:08:12 PM

Recently more 750 scientists from around the world gathered at the Animal Behavior Society meeting at Princeton University. They gathered to discuss… you guessed it… animals; all kinds of animals, from fish to birds. Among the topics of discussions was the impact of liquid metal mercury, even small doses, on the animal kingdom, particularly in birds. In humans, large doses of mercury can cause lethargy and depression, while smaller amounts can lead to dementia. In animals that are much smaller, the impact can be even more significant.

Researchers at the College of William and Mary conducted an experiment where they exposed zebra finches to mercury levels consistent with a contaminated environment. Rather than lethargy or depression, the finches exhibited symptoms more on the side of dementia. The birds were “bolder and hyperactive,” and “spent less time feeding” compared with birds that had not been exposed to the metal. Because of this behavior, the finches could be at risk of increased predation. Unfortunately, they discovered some other disturbing trends.

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Tags: Hg analysis, mercury

Do Cavities Contribute to Mercury Pollution?

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Sep 29, 2014 7:46:00 PM

Where does roughly half of all mercury that enters public water treatment systems come from?

If you answered dental offices, you would be correct.

According the U.S. Environment Protection Agency 120,000 dental offices use or dispose of amalgam fillings, which contain a mixture of mercury and other metals used in dental fillings.  Most of these offices are attached to public sewer systems. The amalgam waste is flushed at the point-of-care down chair-side drains. When the amalgam is discharged into the sewer systems, it can be transformed into methylmercury, which is a highly toxic neurotoxin that impairs brain and nervous system development and function. Methylmercury can build up in fish, shellfish and fish-eating animals, which can be harmful to humans who consume the fish.

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Tags: Hg analysis, mercury

Frequently Asked Questions about EPA Method 245.7

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Sep 19, 2014 4:17:25 PM

We thought it might be helpful for those of you with questions regarding EPA Method 245.7 to create a blog post addressing some of these questions.  If you have any questions regarding EPA 245.7 that we haven't addressed here, please let us know and we will do our best to provide you with the answer.

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Tags: CVAF, Hg analysis, mercury analysis

Mercury Analysis, Which Technique is right for you?

Posted by David Pfeil on Feb 10, 2012 3:31:00 PM

Analytical techniques for measuring mercury include cold vapor atomic absorption spectroscopy (CVAA), cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectroscopy (CVAF), and direct analysis by thermal decomposition.  Each technique has advantages and disadvantages, I'll review each technique and provide tips for choosing the right one for various situations.

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Tags: CVAA, CVAF, Hg analysis, low level mercury, mercury, mercury analysis

How to select the Hg technique for your analytical needs (Part I)

Posted by David Pfeil on Feb 10, 2012 1:30:00 PM


Selecting the right Hg technique really depends on your analytical needs. For some labs, the decision will be driven solely by the need to comply with a specific regulatory method. For example, if your lab is required to analyze samples using EPA Method 245.1, then you will need to use the technique of cold vapor atomic absorption spectroscopy (CVAAS). If you are required to follow specific regulatory methods, you may find the following information helpful.

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Tags: CVAA, CVAF, Hg analysis, low level mercury, mercury, mercury analysis, thermal decomposition