Metal contamination in a room

  • Thread starter Hedgehog88
  • Start date
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?



No idea what you are trying to do. Can you elaborate on what you mean by "trace metal contamination of a room"? Air? Surfaces?
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.

Want to reply to this thread?

"Metal contamination in a room" You must log in or register to reply here.

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving

Hot Threads