Dimethylmercury (DMeHg) is an extremely dangerous neurotoxin that can bioaccumulate in the body following exposure. This compound is not used in industry due to the risks involved, but it has been found to be produced under certain conditions when wastes containing mercury are stored. DMeHg is a liquid, but it has a very low vapor pressure, so it can be readily detected in the air as well. Recently, there has been a growing concern regarding exposure to DMeHg for workers.
Brooks Applied Labs developed a method for the detection of DMeHg and other volatile mercury compounds decades ago. Our primary method utilizes cold vapor generation with gas chromatography coupled to an atomic fluorescence spectrophotometer (CV-GC-AFS), and this method is validated by a secondary technology using reverse-phase chromatography for the separation and ICP-MS detection (RP-ICP-MS). An added benefit of these methods is the capability to quantify methylethylmercury (MeEtHg) and diethylmercury (DEtHg) compounds, allowing for a more complete evaluation of the mass balance of the mercury species in a sample.
Chromatogram for 10 ppb DMeHg, 30 ppb MeEtHg, and 50 ppb DEtHg by RP-ICP-MS
Sample collection instructor extraordinaire, Amanda Royal, will be offering her class on Collecting and Handling of Water Samples for Trace Metal Analysis through the Northwest Environmental Training Center (NWETC) this summer!
On July 21st, BAL will be partnering with the NWETC to present a full-day training course just outside of Seattle on the theoretical and practical application of EPA Method 1669. Tuition is $395 (reduced tuition available to employees of Native American tribes, nonprofits, and government agencies; students; and NAEP members). To learn more or to register for the class, view the EPA Method 1669 Training Course: Course Description and Registration.
Brooks Applied Labs’ Mercury Lab Group Leader, David Westby and, his now wife, Katie Johnson, got married at “The Happiest Place On Earth”, Disney World in Florida on April 8th. The ceremony and reception included close family and friends. A paradisiacal honeymoon in Mexico followed suit. David and Katie met in 2013 at a charity event for the Seattle Symphony. On that note, the newlyweds enjoy good music, custom brews, and are seeking to add a dog to their family come this fall. Congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple from all of your friends at Brooks Applied Labs!