Measure what can be measured, and make measurable what cannot be measured.

– Galileo Galilei

Method Development

Brooks Applied Labs offers contract method development services for ultra-trace level metals analysis, metals speciation, the analysis of complex sample matrices, and non-routine methodologies.

We have worked with industry-sponsored organizations to investigate the applicability of these methods to various complex matrices. Brooks Applied Labs has successfully found solutions for biomonitoring, environmental, and food/consumer products testing analytical challenges, including method development in the following areas:

  • Elutriate generation from sediments
  • Food and supplement testing for low-level metals
  • Analytical options for extremely small sample masses
  • Accurate quantification of chromium and vanadium in human urine
  • Analytical methods for the analysis of trace elements in human blood
  • Methylmercury analysis in animals utilizing non-destructive sample collection techniques
  • Ethylmercury analysis in aqueous solutions and human blood
  • Tungsten analysis in environmental samples
  • Reactive mercury in waters and sediments

If you are interested in contracting Brooks Applied Labs to develop new analytical methodology, please contact us today.

Previous Method Development Work:


In response to the need for more accurate data for flue gas desulfurization  (FGD) wastewaters than was available using standard ICP-MS methods, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) contracted Brooks Applied Labs (BAL) to develop an optimized analytical procedure using inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) with dynamic reaction cell (DRC) technology to eliminate or reduce the polyatomic interferences that commonly cause biased data with this matrix. The result was a robust and affordable method for FGD wastewaters that can be implemented by a commercial or utility laboratory. This method, published as EPRI Technical Update #1017978, is optimized and validated for the quantification of silver (Ag), arsenic (As), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), antimony (Sb), selenium (Se), vanadium (V), and zinc (Zn).

Most recently, the method proposed by Brooks Applied Labs in response to an AOAC Call for Methods for an ICP-MS method for the analysis of low-level arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead in food was accepted by the AOAC Expert Review Panel on Heavy Metals (pending several clarifications). First Action Status will be granted once the provisos are received by AOAC. To receive a copy of the method once it is published by AOAC, please contact BAL Client Services Manager, Tiffany Stilwater.

In addition to method development, Brooks Applied Labs has worked closely with the EPA as a contracted laboratory to assist the EPA in validating several 1600-series analytical methods for ultra-trace metals analysis. Brooks Applied Labs was awarded this work in recognition of the extensive contribution that the company has made over the years in developing and refining these methods prior to EPA publication.

Brooks Applied Labs has some of the lowest detection limits commercially available to our clients. View our MDL & MRL Table.