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Metal contamination in a room

  1. Nov 8, 2018 #1
    Hi everyone, I want to figure out exactly how clean a particular lab room is (in terms of trace metal contamination). I’ve read papers where people have simply left a vial of high conc. nitric acid on a hot plate to concentrate it, then measure contamination from lab air using an ICPMS. I don’t really understand how that would work though, can anyone explain it, or does anyone have any other ideas?

    Thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2018 #2

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    No idea what you are trying to do. Can you elaborate on what you mean by "trace metal contamination of a room"? Air? Surfaces?
     
  4. Nov 8, 2018 #3
  5. Nov 10, 2018 #4
    Um, I've the odd knack of being able to smell Mercury and such at surprisingly low concentrations.
    ( Also 'blown' fuses when such were open-wire rather than 'cartridge'... ;-)

    Back when we had mercury thermometers, I could literally 'follow my nose' to which bench-end sink in our labs had been contaminated by a breakage. The perp had usually recovered all globules from around the plug-hole, but there would be just enough in the trap to require plastic bucket, zinc powder, spillage kit etc etc...

    IIRC, our in-house 'Environment Monitor' used special air-filters and a calibrated air-pump to sample rooms.

    There will be strict protocols to follow, to ensure result is robust. I'd suggest you begin with EPA or your equivalent.
     
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