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TestAmerica Expert Speaks on Mercury Species Analysis at the Michigan Environmental Laboratory Association (MELA) Meeting


Dr. Mark Bruce, TestAmerica’s Technical Director and recognized industry expert, will be presenting on analytical developments for methyl mercury’s Method 1630 at the Michigan Environmental Laboratory Association (MELA) meeting. The presentation will be given on March 24, 2010 in East Lansing, MI. Attendees will include various environmental testing laboratories and related businesses located throughout the state.

Methyl mercury is a toxic, bioaccumulative form of mercury produced by bacteria in contaminated aquatic ecosystems. Mercury concentrations in water sources can bio-magnify, as the methyl mercury is passed up the food chain. A large percentage of the bio-accumulated mercury is found in the methylated form, and is the primary driver behind fish consumption advisories. The performance-based, improvement of Method 1630 was developed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and later modified by simplifying sample preparation and using an almost standard purge & trap GC instrument for analysis.

Inter-lab studies demonstrate comparable data with the original Method 1630. These performance based changes have improved precision by increasing the level of automation, analytical capacity, and reducing costs. These productivity and quality improvements will accommodate the increasing requirement of methyl mercury testing for risk assessment. To find more information or attend the MELA meeting, please go to for further details.

TestAmerica was the first national network of environmental testing laboratories to introduce low-level mercury testing in 2001. Interests have grown in understanding how different forms of mercury impact the ecosystem they are found in. Technical Director Dr. Mark Bruce worked with the EPA Office of Water to develop guidance for the use of automated systems under Method 1631. For more information on Dr. Bruce or to submit an inquiry, please contact him through TestAmerica’s Ask the Expert webpage.

About TestAmerica

TestAmerica is the leading environmental testing firm in the United States, including 36 laboratories and 31 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
 method 1630
 methyl mercury
 mercury species

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