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TestAmerica Addresses Sample Collection Options for Low-Level Mercury Monitoring and Impending ISM Guidance


Dr. Mark Bruce, TestAmerica’s Technical Director at the North Canton, Ohio laboratory, will present in two sessions, covering topics on sampling options for low-level mercury monitoring, and the latest updates on the Incremental Sampling Methodology (ISM) guidance. The presentations will be given at the 2010 National Environmental Monitoring Conference (NEMC) on August 10th and 12th, 2010 in Washington, D.C.

Under the technical session, Challenges in Low-level Mercury Analyses, where Dr. Bruce is also session Chair, alternative low-level mercury sample collection processes will be discussed with the premise of reducing cost and meeting the requirements of EPA Methods 1669, 1631, and 245.7. Since users have the flexibility to modify method processes, without compromising on required performance criteria, several institutions have already been working on simplifying sample collection procedures. Laboratory contamination control principles are essential to use as guidelines when modifying these sample preparation and analysis processes.

Dr. Bruce’s second presentation will provide an overview of the current status on the ISM guidance. The presentation will primarily focus on the drafted guidance related to project planning, field activity, laboratory sample processing, and regulatory acceptance of ISM data. Along with Dr. Bruce, the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) team on ISM has been working diligently for the past year, on assembling national guidance to improve the quality of site characterization. The Department of Defense (DoD) has also devoted many resources to the development of the methodology and is also a significant contributor to this ITRC team. The ISM guidance document is expected to be publicly released in 2011 with the availability of training sessions.

Dr. Bruce has more than 27 years of analytical chemistry experience and serves as resident technical expert for method development and modification. Recent analytical advancements led by Dr. Bruce involve arsenic and mercury speciation, vapor space organics, and incremental sampling methodology. For more information on low-level mercury monitoring or the upcoming ISM guidance, please contact Dr. Bruce through his profile on TestAmerica’s Ask the Expert webpage at

About TestAmerica

TestAmerica is the leading environmental testing firm in the United States, including 36 laboratories and 33 service centers. TestAmerica provides innovative technical expertise and comprehensive analytical testing services. Specialty analyses include source and ambient air, aquatic toxicity, explosives, specialty organics, dioxins, drinking water, sediments and tissues, emerging contaminants, radiochemistry and mixed waste testing.

TestAmerica affiliate companies include EMLab P&K, the leader in analytical microscopy and indoor air quality; QED Environmental Systems, Inc., the leading supplier of groundwater sampling equipment and remediation pumping systems; TestAmerica Drilling Corp., provider of innovative environmental and geotechnical drilling; and TestAmerica Air Emissions Corp. (METCO Environmental), specializing in air emissions testing. TestAmerica currently employs nearly 2,800 professionals dedicated to exceptional service and solutions for our clients’ environmental testing needs.


 environmental testing
 low level mercury
 incremental sampling

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