Teledyne Leeman Labs Blog

Small Scale Gold Mining has a Large Impact on Mercury Emissions

Posted by Sara Kennedy on May 18, 2022 3:46:54 PM

Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is defined by the Minamata Convention on Mercury as ‘gold mining conducted by individual miners or small enterprises with limited capital investment and production’. This type of mining often uses liquid mercury which forms an amalgam with the gold ore in the soil. The very small particles of gold are dissolved into the mercury to form a dark grey clump. To release the gold from the amalgam, the alloy is melted over a flame, driving the gaseous mercury vapor into the air and leaving behind the extracted gold. It is estimated that ASGM produces up to 20% of the world’s gold and 35% of all mercury pollution into the environment. Gold mining using mercury is detrimental to the health of workers, their environment, and their communities but there are economic and social considerations that limit the implementation of mercury free mining technologies.

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Tags: mercury, mercury measurement, Mining

First Day as a Quality Control Chemist

Posted by Aaron Keller on May 10, 2022 10:01:45 AM

Hey All, I am one of the newest members of the Teledyne Leeman Labs team and getting my start as a Quality Control Chemist for the Mercury Analyzers. I really came across the position shortly after college, in part from my research as a senior, identifying heavy metals in wastewater, specifically Mercury and Selenium. My professor reached out thinking the position would be perfect for me since I had expressed a large interest in working on the instrumental side of chemistry, and it being similar to my research. I was overwhelmed at first having little knowledge of the company before hand and the analyzers being different in the technology compared to what I had previously run. The methods were very similar, for most of the analyzers in practice but getting to know and work with 4 new analyzers was still a lot to take in. Ultimately, I was excited for the challenge, even with the overwhelming amount to learn as I was becoming bored with the monotony of my current job at the time, and felt I was mostly isolated in the lab.

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Tags: Teledyne Leeman Labs

How Valid is your Data?

Posted by Jeff Forsberg on May 3, 2022 3:36:23 PM

If this is your first time visiting this website and stumbling upon our blogs, we’ve been in the business of making benchtop mercury analyzers for over 30 years. I’ve been with the company with different hats for the past 24 years. Prior to landing this 24-year gig; I was an analytical research chemist at the University of North Dakota’s Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) in Grand Forks, ND. So, with that work history I’ve seen a lot of data, some good and some not so good!

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Tags: mercury analysis

Sample Introduction - Nebulizers

Posted by Manny Almeida on Apr 28, 2022 11:37:34 AM

For most applications, the ICP-OES requires the sample be in liquid form. Solid samples can be acid digested or dissolved in a solvent suitable for use with the ICP.

Liquid samples are delivered to the ICP using a sample introduction system, which is made up by the torch, spray chamber, nebulizer, peristaltic pump and tubing. In this blog post, we will look at the nebulizer.


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Tags: ICP-OES, Nebulizers

Learning through Failure from a Quality Control Chemist's Perspective

Posted by Aaron Keller on Apr 20, 2022 9:16:47 AM

Coming into the position of a Quality Control Chemist, I knew there would be a lot to learn just in a new job. New instruments, new techniques, new procedures to follow there was going to be a large amount to learn just to do right. However, the tricky thing about Quality Control is having to prepare for when things go wrong too and learning from that as well. What happened, why did it happen, and can I fix it are some of the biggest questions that come up when something goes wrong.

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Tags: Interest Stories

What is Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES)?

Posted by Manny Almeida on Apr 4, 2022 8:04:55 AM

Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry is a multielement technique that uses a high temperature plasma to excite atoms within the sample to the point where they emit wavelength-specific photons of light.  Each element emits its own characteristic wavelengths and the number of photons emitted is directly proportional to the concentration of that element in the sample.

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Mercury in Skin Lightening Creams

Posted by Sara Kennedy on Mar 24, 2022 3:46:33 PM

Mercury is well known to international agencies as toxic and a risk to human health. And yet, mercury is a common ingredient in cosmetic skin whitening creams due to its bleaching effect on skin. Repeated topical application can cause mercury to accumulate in the body as it is easily absorbed through the skin as well as through the lungs by inhalation. Applying these creams repeatedly and for prolonged periods of time can cause numerous adverse health effects. Mercury is still being added as an ingredient despite the known health concerns associated with it.

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Tags: mercury

Are you considering purchasing an ICP - here is a guide to help in selecting the right ICP for your needs.

Posted by Teledyne Leeman Labs on Jul 25, 2019 3:27:35 PM

Selecting the right ICP requires consideration of analytical requirements, available technologies, manufacturer specific features and benefits, estimation of current and future sample loads (as well as the number of
elements determined), warranty and service offerings, and instrument cost vs return on investment (including the cost of analysis). While it can be difficult to navigate industry terminology, the answer to what ICP fits your needs, is not difficult to determine.

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Tags: ICP-OES, ICP-AES, Inductively Coupled Plasma

Used Coffee Grounds Can Save Polluted Water

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Sep 13, 2018 3:05:41 PM

For many cappuccino and latte lovers, the ideal coffee coupling consists of a warm microfoam meticulously mingled with a favorite coffee.  And, a seemingly magical dose of microfoam is at the crux of latte art for coffee aficionados. But, can foam and coffee work together to remedy water pollution problems? A new study reveals how coffee and foam can function in concert to divorce destructive chemicals, such as mercury, from polluted water.

The study, published in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, explained how researchers from the American Chemical Society used spent coffee grounds and bioelastomeric foam to remediate water. The foam, infused with expended coffee grounds, performed as a filter.  Water is deemed remediated when pollutants are eliminated so it is safely consumable for people to drink.

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Tags: mercury analysis, Combustion

New Elements Have Names

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Aug 17, 2018 3:18:54 PM

To the disdain of high school chemistry students everywhere, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry recognized four new elements, which completed the seventh row on the periodic table. Earlier this year, the four elements formerly known as atomic numbers 113, 115, 117 and 118 were given names, nihonium (Nh), moscovium (Mc), tennessine (Ts) and oganesson (Og), respectively. The honor of naming the elements was given to the discoverers. A public review of the names expired on November 8, 2015.

Among the guidelines given to the discoverers for the elements’ names included the tradition of naming them after a mythological concept or character, a mineral or similar substance, a place or geographical region, a property of the element or a scientist. The names also had to end in "-ium," "-ine," or "-on" depending on the grouping of elements they belong.

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Tags: Periodic Table