Service: Heavy metal contaminants in soils, fish tissue, plant, berries

Heavy metal contaminants in soils, fish tissue, plant, berries
LUEL can detect the following heavy metals in soil and sediment samples:
Arsenic, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, Lead, Mercury, Molybdenum, Nickel, Selenium, Zinc and Methylmercury.

Interesting applications of this analysis:
  • Examining total mercury and methylmercury dynamics in peatlands under natural conditions and after peat harvesting
  • Identification of optimal soil conditions for the cultivation of blueberry plants as a possible reclamation tool for post harvest peatlands. Analysis detected elevated arsenic levels in certain areas that would cause phytotoxicity in blueberry or other plants.
You might be interested in this service if you:
Are investigating the heavy metal levels in soils occurring in natural or impacted areas
Where samples typically come from:
Potentially contaminated soils may occur at:
  • Old landfill sites (particularly those that accepted industrial wastes)
  • Old orchards that used insecticides containing arsenic as an active ingredient
  • Fields that had past applications of waste water or municipal sludge
  • Areas in or around mining waste piles and tailings
  • Industrial areas where chemicals may have been dumped on the ground
  • In areas downwind from industrial sites
  • Peatlands
How you need to prepare the sample before submission. Instructions on sample submission:
  • Terrestrial soils are usually dried (in oven <50C or air dried)
  • Sediment and soil samples are collected in plastic bags, double bagged, labeled and stored frozen until analysis
What happens to your samples after we receive them. Analytical Methods and Technical Information:
  • After being homogenized, samples undergo a digestion method specific to the heavy
    metal(s) in question
  • Total Recoverable metals: acid digestion using hydrochloric acid and nitric acid
  • Mercury and/or methylmercury: samples undergo one of two digestion methods:
    Digestion I is used for samples containing organic materials because the
    process completely destroys all organic matter
    Digestion II is used for geological materials because the process rapidly
    and completely dissolves cinnabar (HgS), whereas Digestion I does so
    more slowly
  • Extractable metals are measured using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission
    spectroscopy (ICP-AES) using a Varian Vista Pro Radial analyzer
  • Mercury and methylmercury are measured in one of two ways modified from the following two EPA methods:
    EPA 1630: Methyl Mercury in Water by Distillation, Aqueous Ethylation, Purge and Trap, and CVAFS
    EPA 1631: Mercury in Water by Oxidation, Purge and Trap, and Cold Vapor
    Atomic Fluorescence Spectrometry
    Need more information?
    Lakehead University (LUEL)
    955 Oliver Road
    Thunder Bay, ON
    P7B 5E1
    Have questions about this service?
    Not sure if this test will help you?
    Ready to submit your sample?
    Email or call Johane at
    Johane Joncas, Lakehead University Environmental Laboratory
    Phone: 807-343-8368

LUCAS Lakehead University