The need for speciated mercury analysis has been led by the release of soil guideline values (SGVs) in 2009. The SGVs now place emphasis on the forms of mercury in the environment, with each form of mercury having a different health criteria value. The technology employed uses chromatographic separation followed by fluorescence detection and is among the most sensitive techniques that can be used to measure speciated mercury.
Bioavailabilty Of Heavy Metals
The bioavailability of heavy metals is carried out in line with Environment Agency guidelines using modified SBET (for lead) and PBET (other heavy metals) methods. A portion of the soil is extracted in a way to simulate digestion of the soil by the human body and the concentration of the heavy metal of interest is measured (ICP-OES). Heavy metals can be bound within fractions of the soil which are less available and therefore the total concentration of the heavy metal may be high but the risk to human health lower than otherwise indicated.
Fractionation of Heavy Metals
Added value regarding heavy metal availability may be obtained by identifying how much of the total and bioavailable metal is bound within chemical fractions of the soil. This can be achieved by using a modified sequential extraction technique and determining the major chemical components (Ca, Mg, Fe, S, Si etc) and the corresponding heavy metal concentration within that extract. This can be used to model the binding of the heavy metal within the soil and aid the interpretation of total and bioavailability measurements.
What We Do
We also offer a wide range of analytical services, including
- Environmental site services
- Soil analysis
- Water analysis
- Geotechnical Testing
- Dust monitoring
- Asbestos services
- Environmental Forensics
For each of the above areas of expertise we can provide:
- One-off samples
- Fast track projects
- Portfolio of on-going projects (site investigation and remediation)
- Large volume throughput projects
- Long term contract work (at set preferential rates)