Resources and Equipment

The Methylmercury Lab



The Methylmercury Lab is located in Milam 005. The lab is approximately 1300 sq. ft., and is fully equipped to measure low-level total mercury and methylmercury concentrations in environmental (soil, surface water, rice, etc.) and biological (blood, hair, urine, stool, etc.) matrices, using EPA Methods 7473, 1630, and 1631.



For high throughput analysis of total mercury in solid-phase samples, the Lumex RA 915+ Pyro 915 Mercury Analyzer is used. The instrument is portable and requires no compressed gas and may be used in the lab or the field.  Samples are combusted in quartz boats, and elemental mercury is quantified.

For low-level total mercury concentrations, we use the MerxT Automated Total Mercury Purge and Trap Module, with quantification by cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectrometry (CVAFS) III Detector (Brooks Rand). The methyl mercury analysis system includes the Manual Methylmercury Purge and Trap Module (8 bubblers & flow meters, 16 traps) Dual Trap Desorption Module (TDM-2) MERX Gas Chromatography & Pyrolysis Module Model III CVAFS Detector (Brooks Rand).

In addition to the instruments listed, the lab contains a Milestone Ethos Easy Microwave digester, Milli-Q- water system, 2 Mettler balances, -80oC freezer, -25oC freezer, 1 regular refrigerator/freezer, 1 incubator (ThermoScientific, Heratherm), pipetters, Eppendorf centrifuge, IKA shaker, water bath, and 4 computers. The -80oC freezer is alarmed, and Public Safety will be called 24/7, if the temperature changes >10oC. An autoclave is located upstairs for shared use. There are biosafety cabinets with HEPA filters in the same building, for shared use.