Air Toxics Laboratory    Laboratory Testing for Toxic Compounds Technician at work.

The EQD laboratory provides analytical support for the
various branches of the Division. This includes routine chemistry methodologies as well as some very sophisticated state-of-the-art ambient air analyses.

The lab is very well equipped with instrumentation to meet the requirements of its clients, and the staff of three chemists and one technician are extremely proficient in the environmental chemistry field. One chemist is assigned the full time task of operating the Division's Air Toxics Monitoring sites, one is running Micro samples and the last is running samples to monitor the water quality of the St. Johns River and tributaries.  They have become an invaluable resource to the Division in the protection of our natural environment.

The laboratory has had some interesting challenges in the 30 years of the Division's existence. A pesticide-manufacturing plant fire, a PCB storage site fire, a wide-spread illegal scheme for disposal of PCB-contaminated waste oil, and a challenge to develop a method for the analysis of reduced sulfur compounds, are some examples. Some of these episodes required around-the-clock analysis of samples, thus saving much money and effort in the remediation of contaminated sites.

But the laboratory is, first of all, responsible for supporting field personnel who are charged with inspecting sewage treatment plants, abandoned landfills, industrial sites, and buried storage tanks, as well as performing routine sampling of the St. Johns River and its tributaries. These basic responsibilities also include providing support for the Division's Ambient Air Monitoring Section with analysis of Hi-volume air filter samples for the presence of heavy metal contamination and the analysis of SUMMA(TM) canister samples for ozone precursors.

Another of the lab's contributions to protecting our environment is cooperating with other agencies with similar goals and providing them with analytical support when necessary. Such agencies include the Lower St. Johns River Water Management District, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the State Department of Environmental Protection. Other cooperative efforts have been with educational institutions like the University of Florida, Jacksonville University, and the University of North Florida.

Suggestions or comments? Please e-mail Laboratory Services