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Glass Matrix Test Methods Evaluation for Toxics in Packaging Report

Brooks Rand Labs (BRL) participated in a recently-published intercomparison study for the determination of total cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) in glass packaging materials. For this study, sponsored by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and administered by the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse, ten labs were sent twelve glass samples, including nine glass bottles and three glass reference materials. The results indicated that digestion methods utilizing hydrofluoric acid (HF), such as EPA Method 3052, were effective at liberating the Cd and Pb from the glass matrix, while methods that did not use HF were inadequate (e.g., EPA Method 3050B recovered only 0-1% of the Cd and Pb).

The full study report can be viewed here. In this study BRL was identified as Lab #8. For quantitative and accurate results, it is critical to work with a lab, such as BRL, that has the necessary experience working with low-level metals and HF digestions. Our Pb results for 12 NIS (NIST 615 Reference Material) in Tables 6 and A11 clearly demonstrate BRL’s proficiency with these types of analyses.

BRL routinely performs various metals analysis using HF for complete dissolution digestions. Contact us today to discuss how our methodologies may be of use for your next project!

What Are Tar Sands Anyway?

The controversial Alberta tar sands has sparked heavy debate amongst government agencies, politicians, industry, First Nations communities, concerned citizens, and Hollywood celebrities. Environmental degradation, water quality issues, human health, and energy demands are at the heart of the matter. But, what exactly are the tar sands? In short, Canada’s tar sands extracted oil product is not like conventional crude oil. The substance, also referred to as bitumen, is sticky, thick oil that cannot flow down a pipeline prior to intense processing. The naturally occurring oil present in the tar sands is comprised of clay, sand, water, and roughly 10% bitumen. Pollutant monitoring plans have been initiated to assess the impacts of the tar sands processing activities.

BRL has extensive experience testing for the metals and metals species of concern (such as methylmercury) or interest (such as rare earth elements). Such complex samples require a high degree of expertise!