Brooks Applied Labs offers contract method development and R&D 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 and R&D 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.

R&D News

Quantifying Trace Selenium in Seawater

Brooks Applied Labs (BAL) is now offering the most innovative method commercially available for the quantitation of selenium in saline waters at concentrations as low as 5 ng/L (parts-per-trillion). BAL’s novel method utilizes in-line matrix component separation and...

BAL Continues to Expand Selenium Speciation Capabilities

Efficient selenium treatment and understanding ecological risks associated with the contaminant requires detailed molecular information to make educated decisions. As with any element, the molecular form of selenium, or chemical species, dictates how the element will...

Arsenic and Lead Bioaccessibility in Soils

Contamination from trace metals, such as arsenic (As) and lead (Pb) in soils, can lead to potential health risks from inhalation and ingestion of the soil or vegetables grown in the soil. While it is well known that different molecular forms of As and Pb have...

Mercury (Hg) Isotope Ratio Testing

Brooks Applied Labs (BAL) currently offers mercury (Hg) stable isotope ratio testing for environmental forensic studies. Mercury has a unique isotopic pattern and small differences in the ratios of these isotopes can help in identification of the source, transport,...

A Better Way to Measure Cr(VI)

While the standard technique for detecting hexavalent chromium, or Cr(VI), has improved over the years with the addition of ion chromatography (IC) coupled to UV/visible spectrophotometry, the EPA published methods still rely upon reaction-based chemistry which are...

New Method for the Determination of Ra-226 in Natural Waters

Brooks Applied Labs (BAL) recently developed a new method utilizing ion chromatography coupled to an ICP-MS for the quantification of radium (226Ra). This novel analytical approach can achieve detection limits low enough to provide meaningful data for natural water...

The Importance of Organoselenium Speciation

The toxicity and bioavailability of selenium is dictated by the molecular form, concentration, and the capacity of an organism to metabolize the selenium in a useful manner or detoxify it. There are many parts of the world that have selenium deficiencies which...

Monitoring for Dimethylmercury

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...

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Previous Method Development and R&D 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 us.

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. Contact us to get a customized list of our current MDL/MRL’s for your project.